How To Change A Student’s Life

Smart Classroom Management: How To Change A Student's LifeOne of the benefits of the SCM approach is that you’ll really get to know your students.

You’ll have the freedom to observe them without distractions and interruptions.

You’ll have the time to listen to them and learn of their hopes and dreams.

You’ll have the trust and likability that breaks down walls and frees them to be themselves around you.

It’s wonderful, and the basis for a level of rapport and influence that impacts generations of students.

This isn’t something you have to work at.

It comes naturally by following the advice you’ll find right here on the website as well as in our books and guides.

Time and freedom, trust and likability. They also form the perfect combination from which flows an ability all great teachers share.

It’s an ability that can change lives, sometimes dramatically, and set a student on a new and better and often redemptive course they never would have found on their own.

It’s an ability that affected me personally, that I was the beneficiary of.

As a freshman in high school, I was lost and disillusioned. I was a Gordian knot of shyness and fear and in profound need of direction.

Smart Classroom Management: Bill HeydeAnd then I met Bill Heyde.

Bill was the high school English teacher I’d written about in three of my books.

He died recently, and I’m just now beginning to process it and the impact he continues to have on my life.

I read an article about him not long ago where he said, “I always have enjoyed finding the students who were good but didn’t know they were good and challenge them to push themselves up.”

This was me.

Although to this day I can’t imagine how—I could barely make eye contact—he told me that I had a unique ability to communicate. And he never let me forget it.

I took a class from him every semester until I graduated, and in those four years, he prepared me for the rest of my life.

He saw something in me no one else was able to see, including myself, and it changed me forever.

His day-after-day example—his kindness, humor, high-bar expectations, and deep respect for students—also informed my future career as a teacher as well as everything we do here at SCM.

So how do you find that one thing in your students? How do you find that one thing they can hang on to, develop, and transform into a skill that gives their life direction and purpose?

You don’t find it. You notice it.

Exceptional classroom management allows you to build the kind of trusting relationships that reveal who your students are and the unique gifts they can offer the world.

It liberates their abilities lying dormant within, which bubble to the surface and then burst forth in a bright, glowing supernova you can’t help but recognize.

So what may be inconceivable to them becomes obvious to you.

There is a lot to this topic, including how to let students know what you see in them in a way that ignites a fire and passion that never goes out.

We’ll be sure to cover this and more in future articles. In the meantime, please check out our books. Spend time in our archive. Become an oracle, a seer of infinite potential.

Your students will never be the same again.

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7 Responses to How To Change A Student’s Life

  1. Nancy Cannava April 1, 2017 at 8:02 am #

    Hello Mr. Linsin,
    Would it be possible to occasionally write articles for elementary school music teachers?
    (I see my students once a week.)

    • Michael Linsin April 1, 2017 at 10:47 am #

      Hi Nancy,

      Your question is why I wrote the book Classroom Management for Art, Music, and PE Teachers. It encapsulates my best advice for specialist teachers like yourself.


  2. Chris April 1, 2017 at 12:39 pm #

    Wow, Michael!

    I see the passion in every line you wrote here. Perhaps it’s because I, too, am the “descendant” of several outstanding teachers who saw potential in me and supported me in the hardest of times when I thought I might not make it. I’m still in touch with a number of them even after graduating and working as a teacher myself, and they keep urging me to be the best I can be. They’ve become like relatives to my family and me, and they say the same about me. It’s awe-inspiring, the power we have to impact our students for better or for worse.

    Thank you for introducing us to the “grandfather” of SCM!


    • Michael Linsin April 1, 2017 at 2:16 pm #

      It’s my pleasure, Chris! Thanks for sharing. So true.


  3. Patrick Lauer April 2, 2017 at 6:45 am #

    Do you come to schools to do trainings for staff? please e-mail at

  4. Wendy Pazarena April 2, 2017 at 9:22 am #

    I just had to let you know what happened to me. I have been reading your articles and books for awhile now. I would sort of implement your ideas, but I always got distracted and ended up giving the students too many breaks thinking that surely they’ll be nice to me eventually. Well, it got to the point where the classroom was chaos. I made a plan to follow my management plan to the T. I ended up with my most challenging student walking out of the school. It all worked out and the afternoon ended up to be the best ever, The class was getting the picture. That was Friday. I’m looking forward to Monday,
    Thank you for your great advice and well written books.

    • Michael Linsin April 2, 2017 at 10:11 am #

      You’re welcome, Wendy. Way to go!