Teachers everywhere are dying to know: What is the key to having successful discipline and classroom management? Well, I think I have the answer.
Ever since the first little school houses opened over 100 years ago, teachers have been trying to figure out the best ways to keep students behaving and focused on learning. After more than twenty years in the classroom, I am 100% sure of what I think tops the list of how to do just that:
The key to successful classroom management is discipline without anger
That's right. No matter how you set up your classroom management system, the way you deliver your consequences is the most important part of the process. This is more important than the actual consequences themselves. Do you give students detention? Send them to the principal? Give or take away stars on a poster for good and bad behavior? Whatever your method is, if you want your system to be successful, you can't let anger be a part of the process. Let the consequence speak for itself.
But some of you might say "Hey, this is 2016. Rules and consequences are so 20th century." I hear you. I disagree, but I hear you. If you like your classroom management to be casual and relationship focused, that is your choice. If it's working for you, then great. But you still have consequences. You still have to verbally correct a student every now and then. Or call a parent. Or withhold praise. Or whatever it is you do to get students back on track.
So, if your goal is to have the best classroom management possible, it's time to remove the anger from those consequences. Keep your emotions in check and don't fly off the handle just because a student gets a little unruly. You (and your students) will be glad you did.
Follow me on Twitter @TheDisciplineDr
The recent shooting at an elementary school in Townville, SC is a sober reminder for anyone with a career in education.
Teachers at the school risked their lives to save their students, including one who was shot (not killed) getting children to safety.
While you may have the "that kind of thing will never happen around here" attitude about it, the reality is that tragedy can happen anywhere. Even though the odds of anything every happening may be low, the possibility is still part of the job. Teachers and administrators would be wise to be prepared for the worst of the worst.
Hopefully nothing terrible will ever happen at your school. If it does, though, be prepared to do what you have to do to protect your students.
I recently received the following question:
How do I respond to an administration that sees the rules that are stated with "No" at the start as too negative?
Thank you for your question. This is an interesting one, and a tricky answer.
My first response is to tell them to read this:
The trend these days seems to be to try to avoid anything negative whatsoever when it comes to classroom management and child raising. Shoot, even the phrase "classroom management" is attacked for sounding too harsh. I think we are getting a little carried away.
The key, I think, is to remember why teachers and parents have rules in the first place. Hopefuly the reason is not just to be negative or wield some kind of power over their kids. The reason we have rules (and thus consequences) should be to protect and sometimes teach children. That's it.
Rules by nature are going to have some element of negativity to them. There is no getting around that. They are preventing people from doing something that they would like to do. The key to their validity is in the motives. If the teacher or parent's motives are to do what is best for the child, then a little negativity won't kill them. Negativity is, in fact, necessary. So, let's not try to sterilize our children's worlds so much that even a hint of anything negative must be removed. That is a good way to raise a generation of soft, unprepared for reality, spoiled brats (or Willy Wonka kids as I call them).
Now, if your administration reads those words and still wants to forbid any negatively phrased rules in your district, don't forget that they are your boss. What they say goes. Reword your rules to try to send the same message without the "nos" in there. And you might want to start looking for a place to work where the people in charge have a little more wisdom and common sense.
Question of the week: What do you think about negatively phrased rules? Does it really make that much of a difference to sugar coat the wording? Share your answers in the comment section. I want to hear from you!
Doug (The Discipline Dr)
I received the following question from an educator in Brooklyn, NY in response to my blog post about my Tip #41: Sweat the Small Stuff.
What is the importance of sweating the small stuff? What are some scenarios in grades K-2 and 3-5 that would be sweating the small stuff?
Thank you for your question. As I said in my original post, I think some teachers take the approach to only be concerned with "big" kinds of misbehavior. In other words, one might say something like "as long as they aren't killing each other, I am happy." I think this mindset is a mistake. Sure, there is something to be said for avoiding catastrophe. But to stop there is kind of a lame goal to have. Let's be a little more ambitious than that.
There are two main benefits of sweating the small stuff:
1) When students see that you won't allow less serious kinds of misbehavior, they will really think twice about doing anything more dramatic. There is something about setting the tone that you won't allow the little things that makes the thought of doing something bigger unimaginable for students, or at least like less of a good idea.
2) Sweating the small stuff allows you to teach things like manners and social skills. I am a big believer in the side lessons that students can learn at school. Teachers should be concerned about more than just helping their students make a grade on a state test. Things like manners and social skills are about more than just making your students "good" boys and girls. Those things are valuable life skills as well.
So, what does the small stuff include for younger students? It can be anything that would be considered manners and social skills. Here are a few possibilities:
*saying please and thank you
*not insulting/being mean to another student
*not talking/interrupting when the teacher is talking
*not telling another student to "shut up"
*not putting your hands on people
*picking something up when someone near you drops it
*(boys) being nice to girls
*cleaning up after yourself
I am sure you can think of many more of your own. Hopefully this list is enough to give you the idea.
Just remember, when you are sweating the "small stuff", make sure you handle it like it is small stuff. That means you aren't blowing your top getting an attitude about it. The younger your students are, the more you should handle discipline with correction and repetition of the right behavior. It doesn't take some kind of elaborate discipline system.
I hope that helps!
Question of the week: What kinds of small stuff do you teach? What kind would you like to teach better? Don't keep your wisdom to yourself. Comment below!
If you are a teacher, there are a lot of things that can cause stress for you: misbehaving students, cranky parents, having to get up early, etc. etc. Those things come with the job and often cannot be avoided. Yes, you can come up with strategies to minimize those issues, but there is really no controlling them completely.
You are much better off dealing with things you can control. This brings me to my thought for today:
Lower your stress by changing your mindset
Your mindset is the "why" you got into teaching and why you do what you do. Did you want to change the world? Make a difference in at least one life? Have your summers off? Whatever your reason, it is a good idea to have that thought in the front of your mind on a daily basis.
Hopefully you chose teaching as your profession because you like helping people. This should be your number one "why" in my opinion. If you start each day reminding yourself that everything you do is to help, serve, and love your students, a lot of things that cause you stress will fall away. Instead of seeing students as a bother or as a barrier to your happiness, try to remember your purpose. Focusing on the good you do will get your mind right.
Question of the week: What things do you do to lower your stress? I want to hear from you! Comment below.
Most teachers are fortunate enough to have some free time during the day. For some there is an official planning period, while others may just send their students to music or some other class and get a break.
Whether you have 30 minutes or two hours, the way that you use your free time is crucial. In fact, I believe that the key to being at your best, lowering your stress, and maximizing your overall success all depends on what you do with your free moments.
My own time efficiency has grown almost exponentially from the time I started my career in education. In my early days, I can remember blowing my entire allotment of free time on some days reading about sports, chatting with coworkers, and just downright daydreaming. No more.
I have since realized that time is valuable. I have a choice about every free minute that I have on a given day. I can use it wisely or unwisely. I now try to be aware of every minute that I spend and get as close to maximum efficiency as possible. This will not only help me to get more done, but it will also free up more time for doing other things that I want to do outside of teaching.
So, even if you want to use your free time to relax or take a break, at least be aware of how you are spending it. Those things can be valuable too. Just realize that every minute wasted may have to be made up later. Use that time wisely. It's valuable.
The Discipline Dr
Let's go. I want to see some comments. Tell me what you like, don't like, or just make a random comment. I want to hear from you!
As a new school year begins, teachers have many things on their minds. What will their new students be like? How should they plan their classes? How will they handle discipline? The list seemingly goes on and on.
Wellness, unfortunately, is often neglected. This is a big mistake. It won't matter how good you are at the business of education if you don't have physical, mental, and emotional health. So, as you begin this new school year, make it a goal to be healthy. Make some time for regular exercise. Try to avoid running to too much comfort junk food when you have a stressful day. Don't make a habit of going dangerously below the six or seven hours of sleep mark. Generally be aware of your well being. Your performance, and health, will be better for it.
Classroom management is one of the most important elements of being a successful teacher. The ability to keep order in the classroom is essential.
Here are 3 keys to success:
1. Have a plan. Whether you have a formal, detailed discipline plan or if you just kind of naturally do it, it is essential that you have an idea about how you will handle classroom disruptions before they occur. Being proactive is so much better than being reactive when it comes to discipline.
2. Be unemotional when giving consequences. This is one of the biggest mistakes that teachers make with classroom management, in my opinion. Stick with the consequences that you chose ahead of time, whatever they may be. But try to avoid making your response to misbehaviors be a combination of your regular consequences and an attitude of anger and intimidation.
3. Make sure your consequences are appropriate for the misbehavior. This is something I called the Law of Matching Severity in my book Discipline Without Anger: A New Style of Classroom Management. This means that if the misbehavior is minor, you response should be minor. If it is something serious, your response should be serious. And so on. You will probably find that most things are more minor than you think. Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill.
These are definitely not the only things you can do to improve your chances of success with classroom management. I have written over 50 tips after all. But keep these 3 essential ideas in mind and you will be off to a great start.
I just agreed to a new book deal with Littlefield and Rowman Publishing. I worked with them on my previous book, Discipline Without Anger: A New Style of Classroom Management and they were fantastic.
My new book will be a collection of 365 tips covering discipline/classroom management, wellness, handling stress, forming great relationships, and general survival in the world of being a professional educator. I am really looking forward to it. Hopefully I can help some people.
A reader sent in the following question: I have a student with an insatiable hunger for attention. He is always making noises, blurting out, arguing with other students and teachers. I want to talk to him, but every time I do, he eats up that attention and craves more. It does not help, it only intensifies his cravings and his disruptive behaviors increase. Any suggestions on how to deal with the behaviors without reinforcing them by giving them attention?
This is a great question, and probably one that a lot of other teachers have as well. The attention craving student can definitely be a challenge. I don't know if there is a magic answer that will suddenly solve this issue, or "fix" this type of behavior, but I do have a few thoughts about handling it:
*Stay unemotional when dealing with the attention seeking behavior. This type of student seems to thrive on getting a rise out of the teacher. Do whatever you can to not let this happen.
*Be clear about your expectations. Sometimes teachers assume that students know how they should act in a classroom setting. This isn't always the case. Direct and clear expectations often work wonders. Explaining why the behavior isn't appropriate won't hurt either.
*Talk to the student privately. Sometimes attention getters change their tune when they are shown respect in a one on one situation. Talk calmly and try to see if there is anything the two of you can come up with together to improve the situation.
*Don't make idle threats. The word "threat" may sound harsh, but it is really just a promise of a consequence. Whatever you do, FOLLOW THROUGH! If you say you are going to do something, do it-both the positive and the negative. At some point, there should be consequences of some kind for repeated misbehavior. Few things weaken your authority more than not being true to your word.
*Pick your battles. In other words, don't make mountains out of mole hills. Everything is not an emergency. Some things are better off just letting go.
Hope that helped. Good luck!
Doug(The Discipline Dr)
As we get closer and closer to the end of the school year, teachers often find themselves in one of the most stressful situations that they will face--the dreaded administrator observation. Why is it that you can somehow teach a class full of 20 or 30 crazy kids every day without breaking a sweat, but as soon as one adult walks in the room it's anxiety city? Well, I am here to help. Here are my 7 tips for handling a classroom observation:
1) Tell your classes ahead of time to behave well. In one of my early years as a teacher, I once told a class to act like they usually did during observation time so the evaluator could see how I handled their bad behavior during a normal day (before I became the discipline virtuoso that I am now). Oops. They did as I asked and I guess I didn't handle it too well. It was the worst observation I had in my entire career! It's a good thing I wised up and asked for good behavior during the rest of my observations that year.
2) Pretend like the observer is just another member of the class. This will help you avoid the feeling of intimidation that you may get when your bosses are watching you. Include them in the lesson. Call on them. Comment to them. Let them (and yourself) know that you aren't scared.
3) Be prepared every day. If your school gives unannounced observations, it is a good idea to be prepared for one at any given moment. Prepare every day as if you will be watched and you will save yourself a lot of trouble when the time actually does come.
4) Focus on the lesson and helping your students. If you are thinking about the lesson and how you can help your students, you won't have room to think about being nervous.
5) Have an "oh well" attitude. Not caring about what others think about you can be very empowering. Easier said than done, right? If you do your best, then what do you really have to worry about? You are either going to be good enough or you aren't. Life will go on either way.
6) Realize that it is part of the job. If you want to teach for any length of time at all, you are going to have to deal with observations. So toughen up and get over it.
7) Remember why you teach. Remember that you got into the profession to help kids. At least I hope you did. If one of the main reasons you became a teacher was to impress adults with how good you are, you may be in the wrong career anyway. So focus on doing what you can do to serve your students, hopefully just like every other day.
Follow me on Twitter @TheDisciplineDr
I recently received the following question from Christine in Greece:
Hello. I've just discovered your site and I find it extremely useful for us teachers. I would like to ask for a piece of advice. I teach English as a second language in a private school. We started in September and everything was fine. But during the last month there seems to be a problem between two boys. If they find the chance they argue. I don't know if I have done something to provoke that. There are two or three incidents the last few days and I've become anxious. If there are any more incidents I think that my boss is going to put one of them in another class. But before the problem goes that far I would like to hear your opinion. I tried to talk it over with them saying you are all friends and you mustn't argue on small things but I would like your opinion too. It 'll be much appreciated.
Thank you for your question, Christine. I'm sorry that this situation is making you anxious. You should never have to feel that way as a teacher. I know that there are many teachers out there who feel the same way, however. I have a few thoughts about your situation:
(1) There is no place for arguing in a civilized classroom. You are right to try to find a way to put a stop to it. Arguing may not be the most extreme form of student misbehavior, but it is still something that should be addressed.
(2) I think you did the right thing by trying to reason with them first. Many times this is enough to solve these kinds of situations. It doesn't always work, though, as you have discovered.
(3) Removing the students doesn't really teach them anything. I'm not a fan of removing students who don't behave well (or even changing their seats for that matter). They are much better off being made to stay and learn how to behave appropriately.
(4) One of the best ways to lower stress and anxiety in teaching is to have a plan for handling student misbehavior ready before anything happens. If you go into your day keeping your fingers crossed that students won't misbehave, then you are in for a long long day (and probably career).
Here is a summary of the structure that I recommend for those low/medium types of discipline problems:
FIRST--Try to handle the issue with nonverbal communication. Many times doing something nonverbal like giving a stern look, shaking your head, or standing next to students when they misbehave can be an enough to make them stop. Find something that works for you.
SECOND--Give a calm verbal reprimand of some kind. Clarity is key here. Be direct and say exactly what you expect to happen. You might want to say something like "quiet" or "be calm" or "composure." Repeat your comment if necessary. There are endless possibilities. Just be sure to be unemotional when you say it. Too much intensity or attitude can sometimes just spark even worse behavior.
THIRD--Talk to the student individually and explain calmly why you think the behavior is unacceptable.
If you have tried all of these things mentioned and there is still no significant change, then it is probably time to take some kind of action. The question is, what kind of action? I think this is where a lot of teachers mess up. At this point, a lot of teachers think that it is time for extreme consequences -- get an administrator involved, switch students out of your class, etc. I think it is too soon for that, though. Before you get drastic, the next thing to try is...
FOURTH--Give a mild but concrete consequence. This can be a loss of a privilege, a short detention after school (15 minutes or less), a short period of no talking during class, whatever. It is up to you to figure out what would work best for your age group, level, etc. The severity of the consequence is not important. I used to think that the best consequence would be to overkill and threaten the students into behaving well. This strategy rarely works, if at all. The key is that you have something concrete, anything, that you can do other than just give lip service. The results for this strategy are often amazing.
FIFTH (AND FINAL)--If all else fails and you have tried everything you can, then it is finally time to try to get administration involved.
The idea here is to give students every chance to correct their misbehavior before you do anything serious about it. However, there is a point eventually where this strategy doesn't work and you have to do something about it. You don't have to feel helpless. Just make sure that you don't rush to get too drastic too early.
Doug (The Discipline Doctor)
Follow me on Twitter @TheDisciplineDr
A middle school teacher in Washington D.C. sent me the following question:
Hi! I like what you write and I have a question for you. I am a middle school art teacher in a Catholic all girls school. I have a hard time with 7th graders this year. When I give an assignment and the girls don't follow directions and I try to give suggestions about how to improve their artwork, I often get the response: "No, I do not want to do it this way. I like it like this, or this is the way that I express myself, art is for expressing isn't it?" How do you handle these students when they do not take instruction so well and they are so reactionary? I have been putting all my passion and energy into it because I love art and I love teaching, but in this new private school it is very hard to instruct! Please give some tips! Thank you sooo much!
Thank you for your question. First of all, I give you credit for being willing to teach middle school in the first place. I think it is the hardest age group for discipline. You can often love elementary school kids into behaving well. You can usually use logic with high school age students. I'm not sure you can count on either of those with middle school age kids! I do have a few ideas for you, however:
(1) Remember the number one reason for having high expectations for student behavior. You summed up a common frustration for teachers everywhere at the end of your question: bad student behavior can get in the way of instruction, and thus hurt student learning. This is why teachers absolutely must get a handle on classroom management and be prepared to deal with anything. This is one of my main motivations for writing my book about classroom management and this blog. Students deserve the best environment for learning possible.
(2) Don't make the mistake of thinking that private school kids will automatically behave like angels. Sometimes we can make the mistake of thinking that upper level or affluent kids will always be perfectly behaved. While it may be true that they usually won't have some of the extreme behavior issues like violence, these kids can still cause plenty of disruption in class. Sometimes it's easier to deal with a student who is acting outrageously bad than one who is acting like a brat. Bratty behavior can be a major challenge because there is more gray area there.
(3) My catch all advice for most discipline situations is true (times ten) for middle school age students - be unemotional when giving consequences. The most effective thing that teachers can do for classroom management is to know how they will react AHEAD of time to misbehavior. The worst thing to do is be reactionary. It's too easy to lose your cool that way. Even if the details of your plan are completely opposite of what I recommend, knowing what that plan is ahead of time will still be extremely beneficial for you. Never use anger and intimidation to try to get your way.
(4) Even subjective subjects like art need some concrete grade requirements. Art is not my area of expertise, but there are plenty of classes where grading is at least in part up to the opinion of teacher. When that is the case, it is best for the teacher to be as clear as possible about grading expectations and requirements. In the end, you are the one grading it. If they want a good grade, they have to do what you ask. If they want to make some earth shattering, high dollar art, then they can feel free to try to go public with their work later.
One of my coworkers once told me that he will never, ever let a kid get under his skin. I think this is a good mindset to have, especially for middle school teachers. Let's face it, kids of all ages can be rascals sometimes. When students do something that you don't like, try to resist the temptation to blow up at them and use anger to establish order. Stay calm, and be prepared to deal with the issue with clear and organized consequences.
If your students want to complain or challenge you, just calmly remind them of your grading requirements. If they persist, you may even want to have a light consequence for excessive complaining. There is no place for that in an orderly classroom! You can even give students a chance to explain their case if you want, and consider alternative consequences. Nothing wrong with that. Just be sure that you are keeping enough order in your classroom for learning to take place.
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I am a big fan of Jerry Seinfeld. I love his old show, his standup comedy, and his new internet show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. So what connection does he have with education?
I was recently watching Jerry's internet show when he started complaining about the school that his children were attending. He mentioned his thoughts about the the school and the orientation night for the beginning of the school year for them. Here is what he said:
I was literally biting my tongue. When they start in with, you know, 6th grade is a big a adjustment. I just want to go, really? Really. Who cares! How about they just adjust to it then. And we not worry about it. (sarcastically) Let's make sure their environment is so perfectly habitable that they are completely unprepared for real life. These kids, it's like you criticize them and they're like "what? What are you talking about? So far everyone's loved everything I've done."
Jerry makes a great point. Are we really preparing our students for real life in our schools today? If we aren't, then what the heck are we doing? Are we babying students too much? I think it might be a good idea to do some reflecting about what the purpose of education truly should be. It seems like many educators seem to think that the purpose begins and ends with filling up students' minds with information so that they can pass tests and make everyone look good--and of course make them as comfortable as possible in the process.
When did the main focus of education switch from the Three R's (Reading, 'Riting, 'Rithmetic) to the Three C's (Confidence, Comfort, and Coddling)?
Is gaining information really the most important part of education? How many of us remember more than 5% (if that) of what we learned in school? No, what we learned was more important than just information--we also learned skills, lessons and habits. We learned things like the value of working toward a goal, the value of hard work, and the extremely useful information of figuring out which subjects we liked and were good at. We learned useful skills like dealing with failure, overcoming obstacles, memorizing (gasp), and performing under pressure. It seems like these kinds of skills and lessons are being less emphasized in the current world of education.
So maybe we should start listening a little more to people who think like Mr. Seinfeld. Coddling students too much makes them weak. Let's be sure to keep our focus on doing what is best for students--not just what is best and most comfortable for their present, but also what is best for their future.
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I received the following question from a reader in New Jersey:
Dear Discipline Doctor: I am an art teacher on the cart for 13 years. I have not had many problems until this year teaching 5th and 6th grades. I have work for them to do as soon as I come in and some ignore it and some talk while they work. They are an aggressive, active group that constantly talks and gets out of their seat. I start with a warning but am ignored, I have tried calling home but numbers do not work. Please help.
I feel your pain. Student misbehavior that is disruptive but not extreme is one of the biggest challenges that teachers face. This common problem was one of my inspirations to starting my study of classroom discipline.
My general attitude about classroom management is this: there should be NOTHING that students do in your classroom that you don't let them do. Nothing. So, if they are talking or getting out of their seats and you don't want them to do that, then there should be a consequence of some kind for that behavior. It doesn't have to be severe or dramatic. It just has to be something. And make sure the consequence is more than just words. Words mean very little to students these days.
Here are some thoughts about what I would do if I was in your situation:
*I wouldn't count on parents to help. There is nothing wrong with asking parents to help with behavior problems, but I would never count on it. I just consider it a bonus when parents actually do help. I would avoid using a parent contact as a consequence or something to hold over students.
*I would have some light consequences to use with/after a warning. I used to think that severe consequences were needed to prevent misbehavior. I have learned that this is not true. Often all that is needed is something concrete. So I would try to come up with a specific plan of consequences for minor behaviors. An example might be short detentions (1 min, 5 min, etc). If your school doesn't allow detentions then think of something you can do within your class time. Be creative and think of some that would fit your situation best. Then develop a simple plan and stick to it.
*I would keep a record of consequences given. Use the record to show parents or keep an eye on the totals received for individual students.
*I would try my best to be unemotional when giving consequences. Choose some reasonable consequences and trust them. Then make them increase as needed. Just don't make it the consequence PLUS your attitude. Implement your consequences with no attitude whatsoever. This is one of the keys to successful classroom management.
*Follow me on Twitter @TheDisciplineDr
*Click here to buy my book Discipline Without Anger: A New Style of Classroom Management
..and I reply, Where could I find more splendid company?"
--Glennice L. Harmon
Life will pass you by if you let it.
Teaching is a great profession, but it isn’t for everyone. If you are excessively stressed out by your teaching job on a regular basis, you may want to look into doing something else.
Keep an eye on your future. Do you want to teach until you retire? Do you want to be an administrator at some point? Do you want to change to something totally different half way through? Some things need long range planning, an extra degree, etc. so don't find yourself getting stuck.
Your goals can change, obviously, but it is never a bad idea to be thinking about the long term. If you don’t, sometimes years and even decades can go by before you realize it.
Sometimes a job is not what it seems.
So you had a great interview. The offer is on the table. You are ready to sign on the dotted line. Not so fast.
Employers are not always up front about the job and/or school that they may be hiring for. I once had a principal flat out lie to me during an interview just to get me there because school was starting two days later. Don't always believe everything you hear.
Do your research. Find out about a school/area before you commit. Nothing wrong with asking for a day to think about a job offer to get your thoughts together.
Summer is the time of year when many teachers will be looking for jobs. If you find yourself in this situation, do yourself (and your employer) a favor and be sure to be at your best.
Interviews can be very intimidating, so do whatever you can to lower your stress. Get a good night's sleep. Arrive at the interview location at least fifteen minutes early so that you don't have to be in a rush and worry about being late. Even taking a simple ten minute walk before you go can help.
Doing the little things well to get ready for a job interview can be the difference between you getting the job or not. Do these simple things and you will already have an advantage over most of the competition.
Summer is the time of year when many teachers will be looking for jobs. If you find yourself in this situation, do yourself (and your employer) a favor and be sure to be at your best.
Let's face it, employers can get downright weird sometimes when it comes to their interview questions. Prepare ahead of time and research potential interview questions online and figure out how you would answer them.
Also, many employers will ask you if you have any questions at the end of the interview. Research the school ahead of time and have a question or two ready to ask. Asking questions shows interest.
Doing the little things well during a job interview can be the difference between you getting the job or not. Do these two simple things and you will already have an advantage over most of the competition.
Reward systems are not always the best discipline strategy.
Some teachers regularly try to bribe students into behaving with the promise of parties or other kinds of rewards. This is a bad idea. Even if it works, you are still training your students to expect a reward for everything they do.
Students should learn that there are sometimes things that they just have to do or face consequences. You don't get an ice cream cone when you drive the speed limit. But you will get a ticket if you go over it.
Don't reward students for doing what they were supposed to do in the first place. A fun reward or activity every now and then isn't going to hurt anything, just don't rely on this strategy as your central method of classroom management.
Being late doesn't look good.
If you are telling your students to not be late because they can't be late for their future job , then it's obviously not good for you to be late. Don't be a hypocrite.
Being late will also add stress to your day. Get there a few minutes early and start your day right.
Administrators don't have enough time to fix all of your problems.
This advice may seem to contradict my last tip -- #93 Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Help. This is not the case, however. Administrators don't have time to help you with every little problem you have. Bugging them too much about everything will make you a nuisance.
So, yes, ask for help when you need it like I said before. Just make sure your principal/administrator is at the bottom of the list of people you ask.
Everybody makes mistakes. Even teachers.
It doesn't matter if you are a new teacher or a veteran--if you are having problems with something there is nothing wrong with asking for assistance. Get another perspective.
The best place to get advice is from someone who has been there before. That can be someone with one semester of experience, or thirty years of experience. If you can't find someone in person, get a recommendation for a book, or read one of my tips (or email me).
Just don't let pride keep you from asking someone to help you out.
A lot of teachers teach their classes like they are the only thing that exists in the world.
Don't just focus on the standardized test scores at the end of the year. There is more to teaching than getting students ready for a test.
Prepare your students for the next classes they will be taking. Prepare them for life.
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