If you are struggling with out-of-control student behavior, you may be buying into one or more of these common classroom management myths.
Myth #1 – If you are struggling with student discipline, you need a stronger punishment to bring the kids in line.
This classroom management myth is totally untrue. Stronger punishments will only create an authoritarian atmosphere in your classroom that will eventually trigger outright rebellion.
What To Do Instead
Create reasonable expectations and proactively teach them to your students instead of just reacting when things go wrong. Be consistent and fair, and correct student misbehavior instead of punishing it. Learning how to do this takes training and practice.
Taming the Chaos, an entertaining video showing a step-by-step process for creating and teaching classroom routines, is now available in the Awesome Teacher Nation Resource Library in the “All Educators” section. Not a member? Join here for free!
Myth #2 – Some students will never change. It’s just the way they are, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
This classroom management myth is also untrue and is a dangerous mindset for educators.
Here’s the Truth
Every person on this planet is developing and changing at all times. No one is “set.” In order to be effective at classroom management, you must learn how to discipline behavior, instead of students. While bad behavior definitely exists, there is no such thing as a bad student. They all have hopes and dreams but need to learn a better way to get them.
Myth #3 – Some students respond best to frequent reminders and redirection
Actually, the opposite is true. Multiple warnings and repeated requests cause students to continue their misbehavior to test your limits.
What to Do Instead
Students are smart. When you give them multiple chances, they will take them. You need to prompt once and then follow through consistently so students will know you say what you mean and mean what you say.
So try replacing harsh punishments with clear expectations, labels and assumptions with hope, and multiple warnings with consistent follow through. You may be surprised how quickly your classroom goes from chaos to calm.
Now go create a great day for yourself and your students!
Katrina Ayres, PositiveTeachingStrategies.com
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