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The Consistent Teacher!
January 12, 2014

The Consistent Teacher!

Here at, we were amazed at the massive response our newsletter on earning student respect received! Thousands of you poured in requests for the three free assessments on student respect. With that in mind, we are continuing to focus on positive energy in your classroom. Look for future newsletters with ideas and tools to foster a positive, mutually respectful classroom environment!

The most important factor, in my opinion, to earning student respect is to be consistent. Consistency is one the most essential variables in managing student behavior and earning their respect. As you might have noticed in the assessments, consistency came up many times!

Consistency is crucial because it allows students a safe framework within which to operate while they struggle to become self-disciplined learners. Consistent classroom management allows a teacher to create a predictable environment where students know what to expect and thus can make choices based on established rules, boundaries, and consequences. This is also why I believe so highly in classroom routines! My unit plans are all created on the basis of regular consistency!

If you want your students to become self-disciplined, you must create a consistent environment for them. Students need to know what to expect from their classmates and from their teachers if they are going to make intelligent decisions for themselves.

Although consistency is so important to a mutually respectful classroom environment, it is also very difficult to master. It definitely requires a teacher’s own self-discipline to stay consistent. Trust me, there are many times when it seems easier to just let this particular misbehavior go unpunished just this once. Or maybe you feel tired and under the weather and don’t feel like following your regular classroom routine. Add the fact that teachers must also manage so many different student personalities in one room every day, and it’s very understandable why we can easily succumb to inconsistency.

But don’t let it happen! No matter how tired, stressed, or frustrated you might feel, falling out of consistency will only double your stress and frustration later! Like it or not, every action and decision a teacher makes will influence his/her classroom tomorrow!

Teachers must make hundreds of decisions each day and we seldom have time for thoughtful reasoning because we have to think on our feet at all times. The following are common mistakes in consistency that many of us find easy to make. Focus on NOT making these mistakes! Having a list of what NOT TO DO may help you to stay on the right track!

  • You overlook a broken rule "just this once."

  • When a student has missed several days, you find it difficult to hold them to the same academic standard for make-up work that you would have had if they had been there for class.

  • You call one student’s parents or guardians to report misbehavior that you have allowed from other students.

  • You allow a good student to slip into class tardy while you are on the alert for other students who try the same thing.

  • You expect less of the students whom you perceive to be less able than others.

If you want to become more consistent in the way you manage your class, there are some easy methods that can help you get started. Here are ten quick techniques for you to begin using in order to create the consistent, mutually respectful environment you want for yourself and your students:
  • Create routines and procedures for the day-to-day operations of your class and enforce them.

  • Post your class rules and teach them to your students.

  • Enforce your class rules for ALL students EVERY day!

  • Don’t threaten your students. When you tell them something, mean what you say.

  • Be a prepared and organized teacher so that you will find it easier to make those tough, quick decisions each day.

  • Prevent discipline problems from starting or from getting out of control.

  • Hold EVERYONE accountable for the same high standards in behavior and academic performance.

  • Intervene early when students are having problems.

  • Use class time wisely. Keep all of your students engaged in meaningful work form the start of class until the end of class.

  • Listen carefully to your students, but don’t be a pushover for too many excuses.

For more information and ideas on how to create consistent classroom routines, click here.

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All of us at wish you an happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

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