#015: How to Have the Right Words at the Right Time for Better Classroom Management

classroom management Jul 10, 2020
Do you ever act in frustration when your students are misbehaving and then regret your words it later?

I have a simple strategy to help you avoid that mistake. Here's a simple strategy to help you apply what we know about the power of words to your classroom management. 

This episode is actually a recording from a talk I gave awhile back about how to prepare your words so you'll have the right thing to say at the right time when behavior goes south in your classroom. 

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Before you begin, you need to get your mindset right. I call the whole process Velvet over Steel. The steel is the backbone - your boundaries and commitment to consistency. I'm sure you've heard it all before. 

The velvet is the key here. It's your approach to any given situation. My strategy for you today addresses your approach. It's simple, easy to incorporate and sets you up for success, and...I call it the Power Phrase.

Here's a peek at what's inside...
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#014: How Teaching Students to Emotionally Regulate Can Transform Your Classroom Management

classroom management Jul 02, 2020
Has classroom management ever worn you out? Nearly every day? For a good part of the year?

Today is all about helping those students who struggle with their behavior nearly every single day. Now, let me just set the stage for you for a minute. If you've ever spent for an entire school year struggling to help a student [or students] regulate their emotions [and therefore their behavior], you're on a first name basis with overwhelm and exhaustion. Well, this episode will help you step on the path to begin to understand what is really happening and help your students begin to learn how to help themselves. 

You can listen to this episode here.

I've never liked the terms classroom management or behavior management simply because they imply that we, the teachers, are in charge of students' behavior. But nothing could be further from the truth. Ask any parent of teacher who has tried to control a child's behavior. We cannot control another human's behavior. We can help...

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#006: The Power of Words: Speaking with Intention

classroom management May 07, 2020
Our words matter. While we all know words have power, how often do you speak without thinking first? 

Are you ever at a loss for words? Maybe you're the type of person who just says what you think and regrets it later. Either way, it's not good. We want to be able to speak to our students powerfully and with intention. While that comes naturally to some, it's a lot harder than it seems for most of us. 

Today's episode is all about how we use words in the classroom.

Words have the power to inspire, encourage or defeat. They can cause us to take action or quit. The same is true for our students. Words have consequences - sometimes good, sometimes neutral and sometimes bad. We need to be intentional with our words.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Here's a peek at what else is inside this episode:

  • Why we have to be careful with our words.
  • How to hear yourself and your students. 
  • Why you should plan and practice your words for common situations.
  • How one teacher...
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#001: How to Deal with Students Who Interrupt

It's LIVE! the Teach Joyfully Podcast is finally up and running. Here's the highlights from the first episode.

This episode is all about classroom management and how to deal with students who interrupt. This is an age old problem. And although we're teaching online and can ignore the problem by muting students' microphones, eventually we'll be back in the classroom and the problem won't have gone away. So, now's the time to prepare.

You can listen to this podcast episode here The highlights are below.

Let me tell you a little story.

Recently, I was working in a small private school, the teacher in this room had asked for my help in managing students who were constantly interrupting - interrupting other students, interrupting during independent work time interrupting the teacher when she was trying to teach in small group time. You get the idea. I'm sure you've been there. So, I came in and observed for a bit as the class went about their normal routines.

Now when I do...

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Teaching About Appropriate Classroom Behavior with Picture Books

Classroom teachers have battled behavior issues as long as there have been schools. Whether you're like most of us and currently teaching online or preparing for next year in the classroom, teaching students your expectations is important. That doesn't change no matter where you teach.

Do you ever use picture books to help you teach?

I do. All the time! In fact, I don't think I know how to teach many things without picture books. It's just become part of my teaching style. Part of that is because I find lesson more fun and engaging with a picture book and so do students. The other benefit is picture books make learning more memorable. 

Teaching About Classroom Behavior

Teaching about desired classroom behavior is no different than other subjects in this regard. Picture books can play a vital role in helping students both understand and remember all the behaviors that make our classrooms run smoothly. In fact, they help build our classroom community, identity and culture. 

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Behavior Management: What Works for the Long Haul

Behavior management or managing a class for the long-haul is much more difficult than anyone ever tells us in our teacher training.

Remember when you were getting ready to begin your student teaching and being informed what you're in for when you have no experience to tie that information into? You simply can't fathom what that means or what it looks like in reality. We need a lot of experience in order to make sense great classroom management. In addition, there's a lot of trial and error that goes with figuring it all out.

The more teaching experience we get under our belts, the easier it is to understand and evaluate the various behavior management options.

Here's a few ways that we can manage a class and each method's pros and cons. In addition, I have a few acton steps at the end of this post to get you on a great path to train your students toward self-regulation. 

Here goes...


Management by proximity is when you move to stand near a student when they're...

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Behavior Management and Instructional Strategies for Surviving the Holiday Madness

classroom management Dec 05, 2019

As we head into the holiday madness and the home stretch for 2019, everyone's in anticipation mode. This can be fun or agonizing depending on what's going on in your classroom and school.

I've always been torn this time of year.

On the one hand, there's holiday programs to prepare for and all kinds of assemblies and other events that are fun and exciting. On the other hand, losing precious instructional time is always difficult for us teachers. I want both but something has to give. As I always say...a YES to one thing is a NO to something else. We have finite time in our day. We simply can't do it all. 

So here's how you can deal with it all in a way that melds the two extremes. 

Put everything on the calendar that you have no control over - Christmas play, a sing along, school assembly, etc. Make up your mind to be happy for all the moments that make your school a community. 

Then, ask yourself this question:

What are the essentials I need to teach in...

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One Classroom Management Mistake You Can Easily Avoid

classroom management Oct 31, 2019

There are lots of classroom management mistakes we can make. But, here's one thing that many teachers do and never think to do differently. They don't have a CLEAR vision for how they want their classroom to run each day.

Yes, you have rules and consequences. Having a list of systems and procedures to train students is common these days, and you probably have that as well. But, do you have a clear vision in your head of HOW you want your classroom to run all day long

Here's what I mean by a clear vision.

Do you know what each part of your day looks like, sounds like and feels like? Whether it's whole group instruction, small group instruction, individual work time or some combination going on all at once, you should KNOW exactly what you're aiming for. What is the ideal right down to noise level, how each group of students is conducting themselves and what you, the teacher, are doing. 

What I'm ask you is...Do you know how each process and system will work when thrown...

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5 Traits of Pro Classroom Management

classroom management Sep 26, 2019

Here's my top 5 traits of teachers with great classroom management. 

1. Student Engagement

This one is obvious and well-touted in education. Student engagement has become the "silver bullet" for many teachers in classroom management with room transformations, classroom stages and a lot of hoopla. (Can you tell how I feel about it?) That's a lot of pressure on a teacher. To be honest, it's possible and more realistic (think sustainable) to simply love your students and be passionate about what you're teaching. From there, find simple, interesting ways to convey your message. Sure, do an occasional room transformation if that's fun for you, but don't feel like you're failing if you don't. (You're not.) Students need to learn how to be engaged in learning without all the drama in order to become lifelong learners because that's the way real life is. 

2. Clear Expectations

I can't say enough about this. One of the biggest problems I encounter in poorly managed classrooms...

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How to Regain Your Confidence When Your Classroom Management Isn't Working

classroom management Sep 19, 2019

I've had my classroom management failures just as much as the next teacher. What I've done with all that info is what has set me up for success over the years. 

When you've been knocked on your rear for the umpteenth time (been there) and head home defeated (been there, too) , remember, you CAN do this. If I can do it, YOU can do it! You really can fix your classroom management and have a well-run classroom. 

By taking all of my successes and, even more importantly, all of my FAILURES and reflecting, making changes and refining, I've gotten to the point where I can step into any classroom and be successful. It didn't just happen. All the hard work I put in simply paid off over time. 

Classroom Management is a tricky thing.

There isn't a "silver bullet" that will solve all your problems (I've looked). A well-run classroom takes time, reflection and training of both you, the teacher, and your students. It takes having and understanding all the keys to success...

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