Before you can write an effective classroom management plan, you must first answer an important question: why do you want a well-managed classroom?
The typical answers we give is so that the kids can learn and grow. Or maybe, if we’re being really honest, so that we don’t go crazy! But we must look beyond these token answers and ask ourselves what our real motive is behind our classroom management and our discipline.
It Can’t Be About Us. It Must Be About the Kids
Our discipline must be about the kids – about creating an environment that will help them learn and about working to instill character into their lives.
And while we’d all say that that’s why we discipline, the truth is that often we are actually motivated by our own pride.
I’ll admit that there’s a part of me that wants another teacher to be impressed by how well-managed my classroom is, that wants my administration to tell me I’m doing a great job, and that wants my students to think I have it all together.
But these things absolutely cannot be my focus. In fact, I need to put them as far out of my mind as possible so that I can focus on what matters most – helping the students grow.
Our Motives Will Affect How We Discipline
If, deep down, we’re motivated by our own pride, this is going to cause some serious problems in our discipline.
When a student misbehaves again and we have to talk to them about it, if our mind will be focused on us and how that kid is making us look bad, that’s going to affect our conversation. And they’re probably going to walk away rolling their eyes and thinking how annoying our rules are.
But if our focus genuinely is on the student and what is best for him/her, those thoughts will guide our conversation. Those motives will direct our discipline. And they will see that we care about them and that we are trying to help them grow.
It’s Time for Some Soul-Searching
So before you contemplate what discipline you should administer for various offenses, take a moment and honestly examine your motives. Make a conscious decision to squelch your own pride and to keep the good of the kids at the forefront of your mind.
And since it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture in the daily grind, here’s a small sign you can save, print, and post somewhere that you’ll see it often.
Get Classroom Management Solutions
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Have you found yourself disciplining students because your own pride was hurt? How do you keep the focus on what’s best for the kids?
Photos by Andy M. Taylor, www.audio-luci-store.it, Phil Roede, cybrarian 77, and thomas_sly.