The strategy this week isn’t for the faint of heart.
It isn’t for the wishy-washy.
It isn’t for anyone unwilling to put the tried and true strategies of SCM into practice.
I’ve heard from thousands of teachers who have transformed their classroom using our approach.
And I know it can work for anyone.
But you have to be all in. You have to take a leap of faith.
In the words of John F. Kennedy, you have to throw your hat over the wall.
This week’s strategy, which consists of making a simple, two-part promise to your students, is about throwing your hat over the wall.
It’s about taking control of your career, your classroom, and your happiness.
It’s about grabbing hold of the teaching experience you’ve always wanted in both hands and never letting it go.
The promise will come after you’ve taught your classroom management plan from A to Z. It will come after you’ve modeled, role-played, and explained every detail.
You may be ready to make this promise at the end of the first day of school, or it may take a week depending on your grade level and experience. But at some point, there won’t be anything else to say.
It will be just you, silent and standing in front of your class, and your students, silent and watching you.
You’ll take a deep breath, pause a beat, and then make part one of your promise:
“I promise to follow the classroom management plan exactly as we’ve learned it and every time someone misbehaves.”
Then say it again, slowly and clearly.
The second part of the promise will come after allowing the first to sink in. Let your words linger in the air for 30 seconds or more.
Then finish the promise:
“Furthermore, I promise to never yell, scold, use sarcasm, or in any way treat you with disrespect.”
Say it again and pause again.
Let the weight of your simple and direct words settle on each student and trickle down to their core.
Then sum it all up with one remarkable vow:
“From this moment on, I will follow our classroom management plan to a tee and never, ever treat you with disrespect.”
Said with conviction, the moment will mark a seismic shift in how your students view school and their relationship with their new teacher.
Few, if any, will have ever heard such a bold and deeply comforting proclamation.
And it will change them.
So much so that you’ll actually feel every vestige of excitability, immaturity, tension, and disrespect drain from your classroom.
Because this—you, the classroom, their role, your promise—is an entirely different experience altogether.
With those two remarkably unsettling possibilities thrown out the window—that is, inconsistency and intimidation—the freedom to learn and truly love school is all that remains.
The moment can be so powerful that your students will never test you, even the most difficult among them. Because if you really mean what you say, they’ll know.
They’ll know, which instantly establishes you as a leader worth following, admiring, and listening to.
The two-part promise will also have a profound effect on you. After all, you’re laying it all on the line—your reputation, your integrity, your very word.
It’s scary and exhilarating.
But if you do it, if you’re willing to bet on yourself and your ability to keep your word, your teaching life will never be the same again.
Your students will value and respect you.
Your frustration and stress will all but disappear.
And you’ll be the teacher you’ve always wanted to be.
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