25 Classroom Management Myths To Ponder This Summer

It occurred to me while responding to a recent flurry of emails just how prevalent the myths are surrounding classroom management.

Smart Classroom Management: 25 Classroom Management Myths To Ponder This SummerThey’ve become embedded in the teaching culture.

Ensconced over time.

They’re held on to tightly, often reverently, by those who seek to justify their struggles.

Offering a ready-made excuse for unruliness and misbehavior.

Or for whatever else that ails your classroom.

So I present the 25 most common myths in the bright light of day.

Where you can ponder just how much they may be holding you back from having the well-behaved class you really want.

They are in no particular order.

1. “You must reward your students for good behavior.”

2. “Who is on your roster determines whether you’ll have a good year or not.”

3. “To have a well-behaved class, you need support from parents and administration.”

4. “If you’re too nice, your students will take advantage of you.” 

5. “You must put in long hours to be effective.”

6. “Lecturing students will improve their behavior.”

7. “There are times when you have to raise your voice and show who’s boss.”

8. “You need to be charismatic to build influential relationships with students.”

9. “Difficult students need more time and attention than anyone else.”

10. “Some talking during instruction is unavoidable.”

11. “Your students are needy and require a lot of individual help.”

12. “If you hold a difficult class strictly accountable, they’ll rebel and hate you for it.”

13. “Stress and exhaustion are just part of the job.”

14. “You build strong community by getting in a circle and talking about it.”

15. “You need to keep your most challenging students separated.”

16. “You’ve got to pick your battles.”

17. “Good classroom management is an involved, complicated process.”

18. “You’re at the mercy of your students, your school, and the neighborhood you work in.”

19. “Battling and arguing with some students is inevitable.”

20. “If you have too much fun with your class, you’ll lose control.”

21. “You need to catch your students doing good, and then praise them for it.”

22. “Difficult students need behavior contracts and special incentives to behave.”

23. “Building rapport is time-consuming.”

24. “At some schools, and with some students, you have to lower your behavior expectations.”

25. “You need to be stern and serious the first six weeks of the school year.”

A Time For Reflection

My hope is that this list will help you identify those areas in need of improvement.

That it will help you pinpoint the erroneous thoughts, ideas, and strategies that do nothing but cause you stress and interfere with learning.

Individually, the myths may require further explanation, especially if you’re new to our website.

So I encourage you to spend some time in the archive (bottom sidebar), where you’ll find over 400 articles covering all of the topics presented above—and a lot more.

You may also want to try the Search function along the menu bar or pick up one or more of our books.

It’s important to periodically take a step back and gain some perspective, to reflect on where you are now and where you’d like to be.

The 25 myths provide the way.

And summer is the perfect time.

If you haven’t done so already, please join us. It’s free! Click here and begin receiving new-article updates in your email box every week.

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24 Responses to 25 Classroom Management Myths To Ponder This Summer

  1. Andrea June 17, 2017 at 8:05 am #

    I love your articles and I have actually gone away from incentives. Everyone at my school comments on how great my class is. I just have a question about #3. What do you mean about not needing parent support? When you discipline your students don’t you have to call home to hold your students accountable? I might be reading it the wrong way. Keep the great articles coming. You have made my first year teaching a success!

  2. Joanna Vervaat June 17, 2017 at 9:00 am #

    Would like to sign up for your course . How can I do that?

    • Michael Linsin June 17, 2017 at 9:17 am #

      Hi Joanna,

      Enrollment in the course closed on June 6th.


      • Lisa June 19, 2017 at 5:16 am #

        No other course options???

        • Michael Linsin June 19, 2017 at 8:31 am #

          I’m really sorry, Lisa. Not at this time. We’ve heard from a lot of people who missed the course, so I’ll definitely give some thought to when to open it again or put the information into a different format, like an e-guide.

  3. Michelle June 17, 2017 at 10:59 am #

    Thanks you so much for sharing your philosophies with us- they have made a world of difference in my classroom this last year.

    I am currently taking your total classroom management makeover class and have a few questions I hoped you could answer for me.

    You said that the classroom should have a spartan appearance. Can you help me visualize what that looks like at the elementary level? I try to keep my room neat and organized, but by the end of the year the walls are covered with anchor charts,etc. would you consider that a distraction? Does their usefulness outweigh potential distractions?

    I love your behavioral management program- I used it in my classroom last year and found it to be very effective. I wondered though how you tracked your students behavior both daily – when you issue a warning and throughout the year- when and how often a student was in time-out or had a note go home etc. I have found in the past that being able to track a students misbehavior helps me to understand more clearly the root of the misbehavior.

    Once again thank you so much for sharing your valuable knowledge!

  4. Dan June 17, 2017 at 12:22 pm #


    This is an incredibly useful list to ponder as I reflect over the summer. Thank you so much for posting this!

    One I know that many of my colleagues would question would be #2: Who is on your roster determines whether you’ll have a good year or not.

    At first glance I also thought that it was not a myth, but now I see it is written as an absolute statement, as if a teacher should just give up on having a well-behaved class if they happen to have a challenging student in their class.

    However, I do find it to be true that some students, more than others, can make classroom management much more difficult for a a teacher. So if a teacher knows in advance she is going to have a challenging student (behaviorally speaking), then should the teacher merely double-down on her efforts to have great classroom management for the entire class?

    Also, do you think it is prudent for the teacher to know about the student’s misbehavior before having that student in her class?

    • Michael Linsin June 17, 2017 at 2:10 pm #

      Hi Dan,

      Yes, but please visit the Difficult Student category of the archive. As for the second question, it depends on the teacher. Personally, I don’t find it necessary. I’ll add this topic to the list of future articles.


  5. Reggie June 17, 2017 at 8:14 pm #

    Would you mind if on my podcast, I talk about your articles? I will always give you credit add well airways list the entire message if your articles. Thanks!

  6. Reggie June 17, 2017 at 8:15 pm #

    And will always… Spell check!!! And will list the entire title of your articles…

    • Michael Linsin June 18, 2017 at 7:54 am #

      Hi Reggie,

      As long as you don’t read and broadcast the article in its entirety, I don’t mind at all. Quotes and paraphrase are fine.


  7. Candy Turner June 19, 2017 at 12:27 pm #

    Dear Michael, I am hooked on your management plan. I used it 2 years ago, and it was like magic. This year I had one student who received 5 – 6 notes home each day, on a regular basis. I went back to previous articles to see what to do with him. I did see improvement in some aspects, and my relationship with the child is a lasting one, but he did dominate the classroom for the year. There were times that he would misbehave while in time-out, and would remain in time-out the rest of the day. Was there something else I could have done? Thank you, Candy

    • Michael Linsin June 19, 2017 at 1:21 pm #

      Hi Candy,

      This is a big question that I don’t have the time or space to cover here. I’d also need to speak with you to get more information and be able to provide reliable advice. There is a cost involved, but I do offer personal coaching.


  8. Kelly June 20, 2017 at 2:41 pm #

    Can you guide me to one of your articles on why #14 – “You build strong community by getting in a circle and talking about it” is on your list of myths? I am a first grade teacher and our district is encouraging circles for building community.

  9. Kelly June 22, 2017 at 7:25 am #

    Thank you for the great information on building community!!

    • Michael Linsin June 22, 2017 at 9:18 am #

      It’s my pleasure, Kelly.

  10. Brenna McDowell June 24, 2017 at 10:16 am #

    Hey Michael,
    I love this idea and looked for available courses but see that nothing is being offered at this time. I can’t afford personal coaching but I will be subscribing. With that being said, I know I am on my own here, so I looked at the books listed and wonder, “where would I start?”
    Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • Michael Linsin June 24, 2017 at 1:22 pm #

      Hi Brenna,

      Welcome! I’m glad you found us. I would begin with The Classroom Management Secret.


      • Brenna McDowell June 25, 2017 at 8:58 am #

        Yay! Thank you so much!