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