Allow me to let you in on a secret: There is a shocking difference between classrooms run by teachers with excellent classroom management and everyone else.
Of course there is a difference, you knew that. But the sheer scale is what is so surprising.
Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to observe a lot of teachers, and to this day it still blows me away. The amount of learning, politeness, and happiness in a small number of classrooms is staggering compared to the chaos found virtually everywhere else.
What you assume about your colleagues from the way they carry themselves, from their professionalism and knowledge, is often all wrong. The staff lounge is full of extraordinary teachers. The classrooms? Not so much.
Why is that?
I’ve thought a lot about this question. The simple explanation is that teacher ed. programs and school districts underemphasize the importance of classroom management.
It’s hardly mentioned—at least, in an effective sense. And when it is, it’s about doling out rewards, guiding community circles, and using false praise.
The result is that teachers enter the profession unprepared. They lose confidence and quit or spend the rest of their career pretending to be a good teacher.
A small few realize their classroom management shortcomings, go on a hunt for what really works—which is no easy task—and turn their career around.
The deeper reason that there is such a profound difference between good teachers and the rest, however, is what I call the great disconnect.
You see, there is a vast difference among teachers in their belief in students and what they’re capable of. With expert classroom management, you’re able to see what is possible.
The proof is right there in front of you, staring you in the face. And this changes everything.
You know for certain that you can push for excellence and have it materialize in front of you because you have the ability to create a learning environment in which students want to listen and behave.
If you don’t know what’s possible, if you’ve never seen whole-class transformation, then it’s hard to believe it exists.
When what you see year after year is misbehavior, disrespect, and middling improvement, and what you experience is stress and dissatisfaction, it’s only natural to be a skeptic.
It’s only natural to believe the lie that the students are the problem. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t a challenge or that they don’t bring with them a host of poor habits and behaviors.
They are and they do.
I also want to be clear that I’m not blaming teachers, which I’m often accused of. My goal is to communicate to everyone who will listen that it’s not only possible to have a hardworking, well-behaved class, but it’s doable for anyone.
It isn’t quantum physics. There are skills you can learn that will allow you to walk into any classroom in the world and transform those students into your dream class.
I’ve seen it over and over again. I’ve read it in the thousands of emails we’ve received here at SCM. I’ve experienced it myself every single year of teaching, in every grade, and in the most challenging schools on Earth.
The truth is, and this isn’t easy for a lot of teachers to hear . . .
There are no excuses.
Many of our readers here at SCM have become experts in their own right. They know our principles and strategies as well as I do and are able to put them into practice predictably and effectively year after year and with class after class.
If you’re not there yet, the biggest hurdle is the great disconnect. It’s knowing and believing that it’s possible and that it isn’t as hard as you’ve been led to believe.
So where to start?
I recommend The Total Classroom Management Makeover or The Classroom Management Secret to get an overview of the SCM approach. You may also want to check out one of the classroom management e-guides in the sidebar.
Together, these resources will quickly get you on the road to great teaching and behavior management.
We also have over 600 articles in our archive covering every classroom management and successful teaching topic imaginable.
But first let me assure you. You can love your job and make an impact on your students that lasts a lifetime. You can teach without stress or working late hours no matter who you are, where you teach, or who shows up on your roster.
You can take over and transform any group of students.
If you don’t believe me, give us a chance to prove it to you. Put SCM to the test for one month. That’s all. Apply our simple principles and strategies as explained—paint by numbers—and see what happens.
You’ll become a believer too.
If you haven’t done so already, please join us. It’s free! Click here and begin receiving classroom-related improvement articles like this one in your email box every week.