10 Summer Meditations For Next School Year

10 Summer Meditations For Next School YearOne of the great things about teaching is that every year is a fresh start. Every year allows you to wipe the slate clean, reinvent yourself, and become a better, more effective teacher.

Summer provides an opportunity to push the reset button, to reflect on the previous year and make resolutions for the next.

It’s the perfect time to ponder the changes and improvements you’d like to make and consider the kind of teacher you’d really like to be.

What follows are ten meditations that are sure to prepare you for the best year of teaching you’ve ever had. They provide a framework for exceptional classroom management from which inspired teaching and learning naturally flow.

1. Consistency

Consistency in your behavior, in your interactions with students, in your speaking and temperament, and in your follow-through is critical to creating a happy, well-behaved classroom. Your steady reliability is the foundation from which you build trust, rapport, likability, and so much more.

2. Routines

Every repeatable moment of the school day should be made into a routine your students can perform without your assistance. Knowing what to do and how to do it well fills them with a sense of purpose, allowing them to focus on learning and cutting way down on misbehavior.

3. Modeling

Showing your students in a highly detailed way how you want them to enter the classroom, turn in work, raise their hand, and perform scores of other routines and learning tasks is the most efficient way to teach virtually anything you want your students to be able to do.

4. Temperament

Your temperament has a powerful effect on behavior, yet most teachers don’t give it a second thought. Maintaining a calm, easygoing demeanor settles students, removes excitability, and gives you the effortless leadership presence your students will want to follow.

5. Speaking

Your voice is an indispensable tool for improving listening and attentiveness. Speaking in a softer tone, pausing often, and refraining from repeating yourself can infuse the words you use with greater meaning and impact. It can provide drama, anticipation, and edge-of-your-seat interest.

6. Personality

Although high-interest lessons are important, nothing is as effective in drawing students into learning as your personality. Simply remembering to smile and enjoy being in the company of your students will permeate your classroom with that secret ingredient so many teachers are missing.

7. Observation

Focusing on great instruction and then stepping back and allowing your students to prove their new knowledge—without your hovering, kneeling-down input—empowers them with fierce independence, improved attentiveness and concentration, and galloping strides in learning.

8. Humor

You don’t have to be laugh-out-loud funny. You don’t have to be a jokester or in any way undermine the seriousness of learning in your classroom. But being open to laughter and willing to bring regular doses of humor to your lessons is a shortcut to easy rapport and likability.

9. Pace

One of the maxims of Smart Classroom Management is to never move on until you’re getting exactly what you want from your students. Do this from day one and you’ll never, ever lose control of your classroom. Further, by November you’ll be cruising, rolling along with brisk efficiency.

10. Breathing

Make a point of setting aside a moment of quiet before your students arrive each day. Take a few deep breaths and resolve to keep a calm composure no matter what happens. It’s a simple little thing, but so, so powerful—making you more effective and far less susceptible to stress.

What Really Works

The ten meditations listed above add up to a classroom your students will look forward to. They add up to behavior-changing influence, a peaceful but lively learning environment, and a teaching experience that is both fulfilling and impactful.

The best thing about them, though, is that they’re easy. Anyone can make a commitment to these simple strategies and experience dramatic results.

Effective classroom management isn’t about doing more. It isn’t about talking more, moving faster, or trying harder. It isn’t about adding another incentive system, coming up with stiffer or more creative consequences, or having interactive, color-coded this and that.

It’s about relationships. It’s about good instruction. It’s about being real and clear and direct. It’s about love and laughter. It’s about inspiration and simple kindness.

It’s about focusing on what really works.

And discarding the rest.

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8 Responses to 10 Summer Meditations For Next School Year

  1. JL June 21, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    Thanks for posting so much interesting advice on your website. I wondered if you had any tips for people who will be teaching some of the same children again next year (in some cases for more than two years in a row). It seems more difficult to have a fresh start!

    • Michael Linsin June 21, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

      Hi JL,

      I had a chance to teach the same group of students for three years in a row–4th through 6th grade–and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, for many, many reasons. I found that each year did indeed offer a fresh start, while at the same time allowing you to jump into advanced learning mush sooner than normal.


    • Michael Linsin June 21, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

      Hi JL,

      I had a chance to teach the same group of students for three years in a row–4th through 6th grade–and it was one of the best teaching experiences I’ve ever had, for many, many reasons. I found that each year did indeed offer a fresh start, while at the same time allowing to jump into advanced learning much sooner than normal.


  2. Rachel May 8, 2016 at 5:51 pm #

    Hi Michael, I enjoy reading your tips and I have all you books and refer to them often. I was wondering if you have any tips that I haven’t seen yet about how to teach proper classroom management in a quarter/semester class. I feel that it is so important to teach C.M. But I feel so rushed with my 1 quarter only classes that I feel the pressure to go on with lessons instead of spending two whole weeks out of the 8 going over it. I end up trying to teach art and CM at the same time but that is not ideal either. I never feel like I really have enough time to seal the deal. Any pointers? I am an middle school art teacher.

    • Michael Linsin May 9, 2016 at 6:51 am #

      Hi Rachel,

      I’ll try to get to this topic in a future article or ebook for middle and high school teachers.


  3. Joanne July 24, 2016 at 6:38 pm #

    I needed this right now. I am just decompressing after the most difficult school year since I began as a school counselor in 1988. I’ve been practicing and teaching mindfulness for the past few years. Your 10 meditations are a gift! Thank you so much for your great tips!

    • Michael Linsin July 24, 2016 at 7:24 pm #

      You’re welcome, Joanne.