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Are You Consistent But Still Struggling?

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Enforcing consequences is a critical part of managing your classroom.

But it’s a small part.

It’s a mere piece of a larger tapestry that is falling by the wayside due to the pandemic.

You see, there has been so much negativity in our schools that the one thing that makes consequences matter to students has been forgotten.

And without this one thing classroom management becomes much more difficult, no matter how consistent you are.

So what is it?

It’s to create a learning experience your students love being part of. This is the secret. It always has been and always will be. But, you may say, it’s so much harder now. Our students are different.

Yes, they’ve been through a lot. They’ve been turned upside down and tossed about, dreams dashed. But they’re still kids. And they’re craving peace and enjoyment and laughter. It’s why many are behaving the way they are.

It’s why there is so much anger and disrespect.

The good news is that it doesn’t take much. In fact, it takes less than before the pandemic. Small changes, reminders of old, that if you begin using on Monday, you’ll have a different class by Friday.

Here’s how:

Smile

So easy but there just isn’t enough of it anymore. And yes, you can smile behind a mask if you must wear one. It’s not the same, perhaps, but your eyes don’t lie.

Joke

Find humor in every lesson. No, you don’t have to plan for it. Just be open and willing and you’ll find it all around you. It’s a little thing that means so much.

Laugh

It’s a contagious attitude-changer. Be easy to laugh and you’ll eliminate the pessimism so many students are feeling and bringing into the classroom.

Emote

Bring more drama to your lessons. Tell stories. Dance. Sing. Demonstrate. Use your hands and body. Act everything out, and they’ll look forward to every day with you.

Demand

Boldly raise standards on behavior and academic expectations. Your students are yearning for purpose and discipline and will thrive because of it.

Invite

It’s instinctive to participate. But in this day and age of malaise you have to force the issue. Get your students up and moving at every opportunity.

Enthuse

Yes, life has been hard. But your students need you to be joyful to show that life goes on. You’re resilient and they can be too. They take their cue from you.

Read

Being read to is not only awesome for students academically, but it’s a meditative balm, relief, and escape that’s good for the soul.

Move

Never let your students sit for long without a break to stretch or say hi to friends. Keep your class moving sharp and efficient from one success to the next.

Claim

Stake a claim on being positive and don’t let up. It feels good, changes your own outlook, and will infect your entire classroom.

Refuse

Accept nothing less than the classroom you want and know is best for your students, Covid be damned,  and that’s what you’ll get.

Only You

It’s tough, I get it. There is still fear. There is anger and rancor and disagreement. There is stress and discontent rampant in teaching.

And student behavior is making it all worse.

But you don’t have join in. You don’t have to take part. You can close the door to your classroom and create a world that makes sense. You can put yourself in your students shoes, feel what they’re feeling, and decide to do something about it.

Only you can brighten and improve their learning experience. So take responsibility. Fix the tone and tenor of your classroom. Boldly wrest control and lead from the front courageously.

It really doesn’t take a lot. A tweak here and there, a turn in attitude, an embrace of what is good and right and a dose of determination. It will mean so much. Especially now. Especially for them.

And maybe for you, too.

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