What Is Effective Classroom Management? Smart Classroom Management

3 min read

Well, it isn’t trickery.

It isn’t manipulation, bribery, or intimidation. It isn’t lecturing or one-on-one counseling. It isn’t rewards or tokens, threats or “caught being good.”

Although these and other common methods can dampen misbehavior temporarily, they don’t actually change it.

In fact, they make behavior worse.

Real and lasting effective classroom management, on the other hand, is a combination of two perfectly complimentary forces, which exert influence on students from opposite directions.

On one side is fair accountability. Represented by a classroom management plan, it lays out the precise rules and consequences that protect learning.

Unbiased and non-judgemental, the plan is taught, modeled, and executed as written—the same for every student—by the teacher using referee-like precision, consistency, and calmness.

It’s a simple job, really, both for the plan and the teacher. The plan and the promise to follow it are etched in granite. They are what they are and can’t be negotiated, altered, or argued against.

Trying is futile. Once it’s set through clear teaching, nothing can be done to change it. This is part of its unique power.

But it’s still only half the equation.

For true effectiveness, it needs a counterpoint. It needs a force pushing from the other side. It needs a force that draws students away from the desire to misbehave and toward the intrinsic desire to improve and succeed.

That force is the love of being part of the class.

Under the right conditions, which are created by the teacher, it’s something that not only every student is susceptible to, but unable to resist.

Purpose, clarity, humor, inspiration, success, rapport, respect, order, comradery, teacher likability, and the feeling of belonging to something special and bigger than themselves. These are a few of the characteristics of a classroom all students crave and deeply appreciate.

They awaken and deepen self-worth, natural happiness, and intrinsic motivation to do and be better.

Together, and implemented as we teach here at SCM and in our books, the dual forces are irresistible, like the waves of Nazaré. They swell and roll and crash day after day, breaking even the most resistant, fortified defenses.

Once taken hold, they guide students toward the safety of shore and home, arms raised, enjoying the ride.

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