Experts say that if you have engaging lessons and your students like you, then you won't have any problems with classroom management. 

They also say that if you keep students "busy," they don't have time to misbehave! 

My experience says otherwise - after teaching for 13 years at a relatively high poverty middle school, I know that it isn't enough to be likable. 

It isn't enough to have a great classroom management plan and consistently hold students accountable. It also isn't enough to run a tight ship, with engaging lessons and clear, predictable routines. 

If you are a top notch teacher and do all of these things, you will have FEWER problems, but they won't go away completely. 

I was an award winning teacher at my last school; My colleagues honored me with the "Second Mile Teacher" award during my 4th year there and the "Teacher of the Year" award a few years later. I had a reputation as a great teacher.

I still struggled with student behaviors. 

It got a little bit easier as I learned to wait, to give students time to get to know me and the art room procedures. My last year at that middle school was amazing. There were hardly any major rebellious behaviors that I had to deal with. Were there still times that I had to discipline students? Yes: every single week there were infractions.

Now that I teach at a private school, I have had zero problems with behaviors at the middle school level. ZERO. I haven't needed to contact a single parent due to out of control student behaviors and the only time I entered a demerit was due to dress code. DRESS CODE. Changing schools has been heaven!

Don't let the "experts" make you believe that your classroom management problems are due to something you did "wrong." Yes, there are things teachers do that can exacerbate problems, but the bottom line is that students make the choice to behave or not to behave. We can't make that choice for them.

"Teachers who make decisions based on feeling sorry for students and their sometimes-awful circumstances can cause behavior to worsen. The most compassionate thing you can do for a difficult student is to hold him or her accountable."
How To Turn Around Difficult Students (Part 2), Michael Linsin

article by Mrs. Anna Nichols

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