Article Reviews

PDF versions for download: y 1 Article Review — Students Who Yell       2 Article Review — Informing Students of Consequences      3 Article Review — Caring Too Much                                                       4 Article Review — Motivating Students        5 Article Review — Having More Authority


My project required me to write five article reviews, of articles that were relevant to classroom management.  I picked ones that would give me solid tools to use in the classroom.  My choices were:

  1. “How to Handle a Student Who Yells at You”
  2.   “How Best to Inform Students of a Consequence”
  3.   “Why Caring Too Much Can Make You a Less Effective Teacher”
  4.   “How To Motivate Your Students To Behave Better, Work Harder, Care For Each Other… Or Anything Else You Want From Them”
  5.   “9 Ways To Have More Authority Next School Year”

You can read the PDF versions (above) or read the reviews in full below.



Article Review: “How to Handle a Student Who Yells at You”

Source:,  accessed 24 Jan 2018.


This article would benefit from being outlined first:

  1. When confronted by a student, it is important at first to
    1. Not react instinctively with explanations or defensive postures
    2. Consider how to de-escalate the situation
  2. De-escalation step #1: Delay
    1. Your goal is to calm them down and avoid confrontation.
    2. Do not respond directly to the student’s complaint.
    3. Stay cool and relaxed.
    4. Pretend it’s no big deal.
    5. Say calming words, like “I understand what you are saying. We’ll get back to this.  But let’s move on now.”
    6. Then move on as quickly as you can.
  3. Step #2: Fix
    1. Do not explain yourself or your decisions to anyone who is disrespectful.
    2. After student settles down, clarify rules, protocols, procedures to the entire class.
    3. Get to the point, be brief, provide facts only.
  4. Step #3: Enforce
    1. If the behavior is very brazen or there is continued disrespect, consider going directly to an appropriate consequence.
    2. Deliver the news of the consequence and turn away.
    3. Document the behavior.
    4. Send student to administrator if needed.
  5. Step #4: Review
    1. Review the rules with the class in a day or two after the incident.
    2. Focus on your rule concerning disrespect.
    3. Define it and reiterate it won’t be tolerated.
    4. Remind students the classroom is for learning and teaching, and that it won’t be disrupted.
  6. Important:
    1. Keep your contact with the offending student to a minimum.
      1. Pulling them aside, counseling, forcing an apology, convincing them of your point of view just weakens your leverage and influence.
      2. Let accountability do your talking.
    2. Do not take their disrespect personally.
    3. Respond later with
      1. Simple kindness
      2. No-hard-feelings acceptance


When I consider this article, I see a valid and viable strategy for a community college classroom.  It does not require a lot of time, it treats students like adults, it educates the entire class, and it is easy to remember when the professor is in a stressful situation.

I particularly like the “Delay” step.  This might give the class a chance to relax, too, knowing a confrontation is avoided.  It also shows the disruptive student that you aren’t going to be baited.

The “Fix” step is important for the community college classroom in that it should help everyone recall the rules, which should be listed in syllabus.  Some might have forgotten, and some might not have read it at all but it enforces them in a timely manner.

The “Enforce” step is a good reminder to me to turn away after I make my statement.  I realize now that continuing to look at the student is a good way to encourage them to keep misbehaving.

The final advice, to respond later with simple kindness and acceptance, is excellent.  I have had students who have misbehaved and then corrected themselves worry about coming back into my room.  They know they can’t take back what they did.  I tell them directly that that incident is in the past and forgiven.  We are good to move forward.  Then, later, I make it a point to make eye contact and smile at them.  This works.

My challenge will be to keep calm in the initial confrontation.  Other sources have suggested counting to ten while looking thoughtful.  Looking away from the student and rubbing your chin has had the effect of making the student think you are considering some highly effective punishment.  Then they are relieved when you respond pleasantly. But what it is really doing is giving you time to calm down.

The phrase I think that will help me the most is “Let accountability do your talking for you.”  It is the ultimate in treating students as adults.


Article Text in Full

How to Handle A Student Who Yells At You

by Michael Linsin on April 16, 2016

Recently, I received an email from a teacher who was yelled at by a student.

Her class had been in the middle of a learning game, and everything was going smoothly.

Or so she thought.

The students were playing by the rules. They were having fun and enjoying each other.

They were playing cooperatively.

In fact, she was thrilled with how well the activity was going.

But then, out of the blue, a student stood up and accused her of favoring one team over another.

When she tried to explain, he began arguing with her.

When she defended herself and her decisions and assured him that she would never do such a thing, he became furious.

He began yelling, pointing his finger at her, and calling her a cheater. It was an ugly scene, and the teacher was left shaken and unsure of how to handle it.

This isn’t the first email we’ve received on this topic. And it won’t be the last. Confrontations like this are happening more frequently.

In this day and age, students seem more aggressive when they feel slighted and less willing to listen to another point of view. Further, many have never had anyone show them, or model for them, what respect looks like.

This underscores the importance of first deescalating the situation—in order to ensure your safety and the safety of your students—before teaching a life-lesson the offending student won’t soon forget.

Here’s how:

  1. Delay

The instant you recognize—or think you recognize—a student becoming angry, your singular goal is to calm them down and avoid confrontation.

In the case above, the moment the student stood up, the teacher should have gone into deescalation mode.

The best way to do this is to delay.

Do not respond directly to the student’s complaints. Doing so will only make things worse.

Instead, stay cool and relaxed, pretend it’s no big deal, and say “It’s okay. I understand what you’re saying. I can see how you might feel that way. I promise I’ll fix it, but let’s finish the game first.”

Then move on as quickly as you can. Go ahead and let the student complain a bit longer if they wish or get in a last word. Delay, delay, delay, and they’ll calm down.

  1. Fix

You are under no obligation to explain yourself or your decisions to any student who speaks to you or approaches you disrespectfully—nor should you. It only encourages more disrespect.

However, after the student settles down, it’s smart to set the record straight by clarifying your rules, protocols, or procedures related to the game or activity to the entire class.

This allows you to defend your decisions as the teacher and leader of the classroom while at the same time fulfilling your promise to “fix it.”

Get to the point, be brief, and provide facts only.

  1. Enforce

Your classroom management plan should include an addendum that allows you to skip the warning stage and jump directly to a more appropriate consequence.

Any incident of brazen or continued disrespect should be met with your strongest consequence—which may include an extended time-out for elementary students or detention for high school students—plus a notification of parents.

The behavior should also be documented and, if it was in any way threatening, aggressive, or potentially dangerous, then officially referred to an administrator.

(Note: Although we have strong opinions about how administrators should best handle severe misbehavior, and support and protect classroom teachers, we are a website dedicated to helping teachers. We do not provide advice for principals on this blog.)

Only after the student has forgotten about the incident, which may be much later in the day, or even the next, should you approach, deliver the news of your consequence, and then turn on your heel and walk away.

  1. Review

Students tend to repeat the behavior they see from others.

This is one reason why a class can get out of control so quickly. Therefore, it’s important that you review your rules again a day or so after the incident.

Severe misbehavior can act as an agent to improve behavior and politeness class-wide. Whenever you have a dramatic incident or a particularly bad day, you should view it as an opportunity to teach a valuable lesson to the entire class.

Focus on your rule concerning disrespect.

Be sure and define once again what it looks like and reiterate that it won’t be tolerated, that you won’t allow anyone or anything to upset the experience of being a member of your class.

Finish your review by reminding your students that the goal of your classroom management plan is to safeguard their right to learn and enjoy school and your right to teach great lessons.

Limiting Contact

As counterintuitive as it may seem, the less contact you have with the offending student, the less likely a similar incident will happen in the future.

We’ll delve deeper into this topic in future articles, but just know that pulling them aside to counsel, patch things up, force an apology, or convince them of your point of view will only weaken your leverage and influence.

Let accountability do your talking for you.

By not taking their disrespect personally, but instead keeping your cool and following through on your promise to protect learning, your respect in the eyes of all your students will grow.

The offending student, especially, is often changed by the experience. So much so that they’ll begin treating you with reverence and even admiration.

When you then show them—through your simple kindness and no-hard-feelings acceptance—what grace, forgiveness, and true respect looks like . . .

You’ll forever change how they view the world.




Article Review: “How Best to Inform Students of a Consequence”

Source:, accessed 24 Jan 2018.


Article outline:

  1. Giving a consequence requires
    1. correct words and tone
    2. correct emotional reaction
    3. correct body language
  2. It is important to
    1. put the responsibility on the student
    2. allow the student to feel the burden of behaving poorly
    3. give the student the opportunity to feel
      1. a sense of regret
      2. a greater desire to follow the rules
  3. Steps for Informing of Consequence
    1. Tell the student clearly and concisely what rule was broken
    2. Keep your thoughts, comments, and opinions to yourself
      1. Or it causes resentment
      2. And sabotages accountability
    3. Do not escort for time-out
      1. They must walk out on their own
      2. Allows student to feel the responsibility
      3. Has them acknowledge their error
    4. Behave matter-of-factly and control your body language
      1. Avoid causing friction
      2. Avoid student humiliation
    5. Be more like a referee, less like judge.
      1. Enforce rules, not mediate disagreements
      2. Consequences are not personal
      3. Rules are for safety and no interference to learning
    6. Safeguard your influence
      1. Influence gives leverage for changing student behavior
      2. “Tell it like it is” without sarcasm, scolding, etc.
      3. Let accountability do the rest.
    7. Move on
      1. Deliver consequence
      2. Turn back to what you were doing
  4. Why this is important
    1. Informing students of consequences requires an excellent acting job, no matter how angry you feel
    2. You want the students to see the problem with their misbehavior
    3. You do not want them to blame or get angry at you
    4. All this makes the consequence effective
    5. The students choose when the rules need to be enforced, not you

I see the value of this advice.  When I have delivered consequences, I have always just watched and waited after I stopped talking.  Now I see this gives the student an opportunity to show me defiance, to argue, to put on some performance for his/her classmates.  Turning away from the situation and resuming teaching or writing on the board will break eye contact.  The student has nothing to work off of from me and, if I am doing it right, the other students will be focused on me.  The student’s chance of showing off has been nullified.

I wonder about what to do if, after I deliver the consequence and turn away, the student does not respond correctly.  What if the student continues to argue?  What if the student doesn’t leave when he/she is supposed to?

I suppose my response would be to turn back and repeat the consequence with a statement that if he/she doesn’t comply, the consequence will escalate.  Then turn away again.  If the student does not respond, then I can call for assistance in escorting the student out of the room.

It will be a challenge for me to not include reasoning as to why the rules are what they are.  My tendency is to try to help the students understand the reasoning and to encourage them to act maturely.  But now I see this actually undermines the rule enforcement process.  The “why” can come later, when the situation is over and everyone is calm and thinking rationally.


Article Text in Full

How Best To Inform Students Of A Consequence

by Michael Linsin on March 17, 2012

How you give a consequence matters.

How you speak to your students, what you say to them, and how you react emotionally and with your body language after they break a classroom rule goes a long way toward curbing misbehavior.

Whether you’re giving a warning, a time-out, or a letter to take home, the key is to inform them in a way that takes the focus off you—the mere deliverer of the news—and places the responsibility solely with them.

Your students must feel the burden of behaving poorly.

Because if they don’t, if they don’t feel a sense of regret and a greater desire to follow your classroom rules, then your consequences will be ineffective.

What follows are a few guidelines to help you inform your students of a consequence in a way that tugs on their conscience, causes them to reflect on their mistakes, and lets accountability do its good work.

Tell them why.

When a student breaks a classroom rule, tell him (or her) clearly and concisely why he’s been given a consequence. Say, “Danny, you have a warning because you broke rule number two and didn’t raise your hand before speaking.” Telling them why leaves no room for debate, disagreement, misunderstanding, or anyone to blame but themselves.

Keep your thoughts, opinions, and comments to yourself.

Let your agreed-upon consequence be the only consequence. Refrain from adding a talking-to, a scolding, or your two-cents worth. By causing resentment, these methods sabotage accountability. So instead of taking a reflective look at themselves and their misbehavior, your students will grumble under their breath and seethe in anger toward you.

Do not escort to time-out.

If the consequence calls for time-out, don’t escort them there. Getting up and walking to time-out is an important part of the accountability process. It acts as a statement, or an acknowledgement of sorts, that they indeed broke a classroom rule and are ready to take responsibility for it. Also, escorting them can make them less motivated to go.

Behave matter-of-factly.

A matter-of-fact tone and body language enables you to hold students accountable without causing friction. Most teachers make a fuss out of misbehavior—reacting angrily, showing disappointment, sighing, rolling eyes. But this can be humiliating for students in front of their classmates, causing them to dislike you and undermining the critical rapport-building relationship.

Be more like a referee, less like judge.

A referee’s job is to enforce rules, not mediate disagreements—which makes being fair, consistent, and composed a lot easier. Thinking like a referee, rather than a judge, also helps students see that your consequences aren’t personal, but something you must do to protect their right to learn and enjoy school without interference.

Safeguard your influence.

An influential relationship with students gives you the leverage you need to change behavior. And so anything you do that threatens that relationship—yelling, scolding, lecturing, using sarcasm, etc—should be avoided. Simply tell your students like it is, follow your classroom management plan, and let accountability do the rest.

Move on.

As soon as you’ve informed the misbehaving student what rule was broken and the consequence, turn your attention back to what you were doing without skipping a beat. The burden of responsibility then shifts in total from you, the deliverer of the consequence, to the student. The interaction should take no longer than 10-15 seconds.

Note: Your students must know exactly what their responsibilities are upon receiving a consequence. Thus, it’s critical to teach, model, and practice your classroom management plan thoroughly before putting it into practice.

Your Students Decide, Not You

Small, seemingly insignificant details—often glossed over, ignored, or deemed too nit-picky to care about—can make a big difference.

How you inform your students of a consequence is a small part of classroom management, to be sure, a bit player in the theater of your classroom.

But it’s an important part, requiring Oscar-level performance.

Despite how much an act of misbehavior may get under your skin, or how much you’d like to express your frustrations, you have to stay in character.

Because if after receiving a consequence your students blame you, or become angry with you, then the consequence will be ineffective. They must see that they alone bear the responsibility for their misbehavior.

After all, you don’t decide when or if to enforce a consequence.

Your students do.




Article Review: “Why Caring Too Much Can Make You a Less Effective Teacher”

Source:, accessed 24 Jan 2018


Article outline:

  1. Teaching is important, but it can
      1. weigh heavily on you
      2. cause you to put too much of your identity in your job
      3. cause you to care too much
  2. Caring too much could result in
      1. you being preoccupied and make mistakes that make you less effective
      2. you becoming personally offended when students misbehave
      3. you start doing for them what they should be doing for themselves
  3. The most effective teachers
    1. maintain a professional distance from
      1. their students
      2. their classroom
      3.  their school
    2. view teaching as a two-way street
      1. they give their best to their students to create a learning experience the students want to be part of
      2. they expect the best in return
    3. their actions show a deep and abiding belief in their students
      1. they enforce consequences
      2. they give directions one time
      3.  they have other behaviors that keep student responsibility with the student
    4. When student have their responsibilities removed
      1. they get the message they have a free pass
      2. they shrug at your urgent exhortations
      3. they ignore your requests for quiet
      4. they listen when convenient
      5. they daydream
      6. they don’t see they need what you are teaching
    5. Effective classrooms have responsibilities separate and defined
      1. The teachers do their jobs well, providing everything the student needs to be successful
      2. You will focus your energy on these core responsibilities
        1. teach
        2. inspire
        3. hold accountable
      3. The onus of getting the work done is handed over to the students, so
        1. complacency and apathy die out
        2. their respect for you will soar
        3.  their independency will grow
      4. You will leave school at school

This article has pointed out a problem I believe I have.  I care too much about my students and their learning.  I worry that any changes or experiments I do with my lessons might adversely affect their learning so I am very cautious about making changes.  I wonder at my colleagues’ more casual attitude about making changes.

This is not a 100% problem.  I do acknowledge that I cannot care more than my students in that I see it is their responsibility to do the work and pass the class.  I do not strive to be a “co-dependent enabler”, as I have seen described in other websites.  But I do want my classes to be successful, despite knowing that some students just won’t put in the effort.

On the other hand, I have always tried to run my classrooms where the student responsibility sits on their shoulders.  In order to pass, they have to get their work done, come to class prepared, and study and prepare for exams.  They are in charge of getting their questions to me.

I suspect I worry because I have had students who insisted that I take responsibility for them.  They want me to structure the points so they are guaranteed to pass.  They want me to give them the lecture notes and tell them exactly what to study for tests.  It is difficult for me to resist that pressure semester after semester.

What strikes me in this article is the idea that teachers give their best and expect the students to do the same.  This has been my model but does not always result in my students’ best.  From what I read in here and other articles, though, is that if they fail, it is not on me if I give my best.  Again, the responsibility is theirs.

The statement about caring too much can have you make mistakes that make you less effective has been addressed in other articles.  Basically, if you are worried about being the caring, approachable teacher who has a good rapport with your students, you might be tempted to ignore accountability because you are concerned you will ruin your relationship with your students.

Another aspect I like is the recommendation to focus on the three core responsibilities:  teaching, inspiring, and holding accountable.  This makes teaching look much more fun and relaxing.  Hopefully it will reduce the stress of worry, too.


Article Text in Full

Why Caring Too Much Can Make You A Less Effective Teacher

by Michael Linsin on October 4, 2014

Teaching is important, to be sure.

But if you’re not careful, this fact can weigh heavily.

It can cause you to wrap an unhealthy amount of your identity into your job. It can cause you to be distracted around your friends and family.

It can cause you to care too much.

And when you care too much, not only are you wrung out, preoccupied, and no fun to be around, but you make mistakes that make you a less effective teacher.

You become personally offended when students misbehave. You become irritable, easily frustrated, and less approachable.

You become so invested in your students’ success, so pressured by administrative powers, that you begin doing for them what only they can do for themselves.

The truth is, the most effective teachers maintain a level of professional distance—from their students, their classroom, and even their school.

They view teaching as a two-way street. Meaning, they give their best for their students. They teach high-interest lessons. They build leverage and influence through their consistent pleasantness and likability. They create a learning experience their students want to be a part of.

But they also expect the best in return, which manifests itself in everything they do.

From enforcing consequences dispassionately to giving directions one time to their reluctance to kneel down and reteach individuals what was taught to the entire class minutes before . . . their actions announce to the world their deep and abiding belief in their students.

You see, when you take on what are your students’ responsibilities, even emotionally, they’ll be left with the message that they have a free pass.

So they shrug in response to your urgent exhortations. They ignore your requests for quiet. They listen only when convenient. They daydream and side-talk and count tiles on the ceiling.

It never occurs to them that they’re sitting in a sacred place of learning or that they desperately need what you have to offer. The result is a stressed-out teacher and a class full of students who just don’t care.

In the most effective classrooms, responsibilities are clearly separate and defined.

The teacher does their job well, providing everything their students need to be successful, then hands the onus to do the work, discuss the book, perform the experiment, and solve for x in full over to their students.

Your job is to teach, inspire, and hold accountable—which is completely in your control. When you focus your physical and emotional energy on these three core responsibilities, and determine to turn the rest over to your students, your stress will all but disappear.

At the same time, the whole vibe of your classroom will change. The winds of complacency and apathy will die out. Balance will be restored to the kingdom.

Your students will feel the burden of responsibility for learning and behaving settle upon their shoulders, where it belongs. Their respect for you will soar. Their sense of independence will swell. Rapport will come easy—light and effortless.

Your heavy mood, your hurt, and your disappointment will lift and dissipate into the heavens. You’ll have the energy you need to create your dream class. And you’ll finally be able to leave school at school.

Now both you and your students will possess the same look: Happy yet determined. Calm yet filled with purpose. Fulfilled yet resolute.

The way it’s supposed to be.




Article Review: “How To Motivate Your Students To Behave Better, Work Harder, Care For Each Other… Or Anything Else You Want From Them”

Source:, accessed 30 Mar 2018


Article outline:

  1. Lecturing individual students on poor behavior is
    1. a common classroom management practice
    2. a mistake, because
      1. it is born of frustration and anger
      2. it is not from a pure intention to help improve behavior
      3. it causes student resentment
      4. it diminishes your influence
  2. Whole class lectures are better, because they are motivational if done right
  3. Steps to motivational whole class lectures
    1. #1: Tell them what you don’t like
      1. start your speech with what you are unhappy about
      2. do not single anyone out
      3. cite specific examples
    2. #2: Tell them why it is wrong
      1. offer a clear explanation
      2. make your reasoning brief, direct, and easy to understand
    3. #3: Tell them what you want
      1. make your expectation of how they should behave clear
      2. be specific
      3. model or show the behavior you want
    4. #4: Challenge them
      1. ask them to stand up and tell you if they don’t think they can do it
      2. you want to know now, not later when the bad behavior starts up again
    5. #5: Challenge them again, and finish together
      1. ask them to stand and gather around you if they think they can do it
      2. they can stay seated if they don’t think they can
      3. put your hand into the center of the group, have them do the same
      4. finish with “now go do it, the best you can!”, “show me you can!” or similar words
  4. Include your passion
    1. You cannot just go through the motions
    2. You have to believe they are capable
    3. You have to show them that you believe, so they will believe, too


I see the value in making a behavior correction talk to the whole class.  I see how steps 1 – 3 work.  I am not sure that step 4 will always work, even if I show that I believe the students can.  I suspect there will often be “that one person” who will test to see how sincere my statements are.  That person will be the one who says they don’t think they can do it.

I imagine you should respond to their concerns with a question, like, “What do you think is stopping you from doing this?” or “What needs to be done to make it so you can do it?”  This opens the door to negotiating the rules with the students, and other articles on this website say that is a bad idea.

One of the teachers I interviewed about his classroom management style said his policy is that everyone has a voice but he makes the rules.  So perhaps asking the student what needs to be done is giving the student his voice.  If the student asks for something reasonable to change, I can consider or even make the change.  If the student asks for something unreasonable, I can always ask more questions, like, “Is this change going to be distracting to your classmates or to me?”

In the comments section of this article, the author says the students have a right to choose but “You are simply protecting their right and everyone else’s right to learn and enjoy learning without interference.”  If they choose to not comply with the rules, they are choosing to leave if their behavior is infringing on the rights of their classmates and instructor.

The challenge for me would be to deliver that statement matter-of-factly, instead of in a manner that conveys, “You’d better comply, or else.”

I do not see step 5, gathering and putting our hands in a circle, working in a college classroom at all.  I would feel silly doing it and I think the students would feel the same.  But perhaps a big smile, a “thumbs up”, and saying, “Great!  Let’s get going on an excellent class!” might be a good substitute.

I wonder if doing this at the beginning of the semester would be a good way to set the tone for the entire class.  Explain that this classroom is a place of learning and that everyone has the right to learn and enjoy it without interference or disruption.  We all are charged with the duty of safeguarding those rights.  The classroom rules are designed to help us with that.  Then ask if anyone feels they cannot support these goals.  If anyone responds that they can’t, then we have the “why not” dialog.

There is good advice in this article.  With modifications, I think there are ideas that are applicable to a community college classroom.


Article Text in Full

How To Motivate Your Students To Behave Better, Work Harder, Care For Each Other… Or Anything Else You Want From Them

by Michael Linsin on October 30, 2010

Lecturing individual students is a common classroom management practice—just another tool in a teacher’s tool belt.

But it’s a colossal mistake, born of frustration, that does nothing to curb unwanted behavior beyond several minutes.

The reason?

When you lecture individual students, it’s done out of anger and not out of a pure intention to help improve behavior.

And students know it.

It causes them to dislike you, lose respect for you, and desire to get even with you—greatly diminishing your influence.

Whole-class lectures, on the other hand, can work miracles.

How To Motivate Their Socks Off

I prefer to call class lectures “motivational speeches” because that’s what they’re designed to do: to motivate students.

Done a certain way, a motivational speech can light a fire under a lazy class, reverse poor attitudes, inspire altruism, or stop unruly behavior in its tracks.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Tell them what you don’t like.

Your students will behave/perform better when they know precisely what not to do. To that end, start your speech by pointing out what you’re unhappy with. What are you seeing from your students that you want corrected? Without singling anyone out, cite specific examples.

Step 2: Tell them why it’s wrong.

Explaining why is a powerful persuasion technique. Your students are much more likely to agree with you—and thus change their behavior—if you offer a clear explanation why their behavior is wrong. Make your reasoning brief, direct, and easy to understand.

Step 3: Tell them what you want.

Make clear to your students what you expect from them. In other words, how they should behave. Again, be specific. Show them how you want them to attend during lessons, raise their hand, choose a partner, greet their tablemates, or whatever behavior you want changed.

Step 4: Challenge them.

Ask your students, challenge them, to stand up if they feel like they’re not going to be able to do what you ask—for whatever reason. Tell them that, if this is the case, if they really feel like they can’t do what you expect of them, you want to know now. You don’t want to wait and find out later when you see the same old behavior again.

Step 5: Challenge them again, then finish together.

Challenge your class to stand and gather around you if they are committed to whatever you’re asking of them. If they’re not, tell them to remain seated (they won’t). Extend your hand into the center of the group. Ask them to do the same. Now glance around, looking them in the eyes, and say, “Now I want you to show me, prove to me that you can listen, learn, study, and become the best students you can be.”

Then finish with a bang: “Be the best on three. One…two…three… BE THE BEST!”

Add Your Passion

The above steps won’t work if you just go through the motions. It will be just another lecture, just another teacher droning on, unless you tap into that place deep inside you that believes in an individual’s capacity to overcome obstacles, to rise above their circumstances, to become more than the opinions of others.

You have to believe, to know beyond a doubt, that your students are capable of fulfilling the vision of excellence you have for them. Because if you don’t believe it, they won’t believe it either.

So don’t be afraid to let it out. Don’t be afraid to show your passion for helping students become more than they think they can. Don’t be afraid to show your desire to create your dream class, to make your classroom and this school year a once-in-a-lifetime experience for you and your students.

If you get goose bumps as you look into your students’ eyes, if they look back at you with intensity and determination to be better students, then you know you’re on the right track.




Article Review: “9 Ways To Have More Authority Next School Year”

Source:, accessed 2 Apr 2018


Article outline:

  1. Authority is important in the classroom because
    1. it affects how students view you
    2. it affects how students behave around you
  2. The nine traits of authority
    1. Dress neatly
      1. Not necessarily expensively
      2. General neatness and appearance of quality
      3. Helps students perceive you as a leader
      4. Makes you feel better, too
    2. Stand tall
      1. Project confidence
      2. Allows students to trust your leadership
      3. Simply changing your posture can help
    3. Follow through
      1. Do what you say you will do
      2. Avoid being wishy-washy
    4. Honor the truth
      1. Avoid over-the-top flattery
      2. Steer clear of manipulation, reward systems, “catching students doing good”
      3. Base your words of praise on true accomplishments and be genuine
      4. Tell them the truth
      5. Be direct. It gives you dignity and morality
    5. Be pleasant. Avoid intimidation
    6. Be calm and prepared. Avoid projecting nervous energy.
    7. Improve your speaking.
      1. Avoid filling in silences with “hms” and “ers”
      2. Avoid overcommunicating, with extra details and unhelpful words
      3. Slow down, pause, finish your sentences, stay on target
    8. Be physically prepared
      1. Be at your best each day, stay focused, learn to say “no”
      2. Be productive, not just busy
      3. Get enough rest, exercise, and eat right
      4. Enjoy time away from school; engage in hobbies
    9. Choose to see only the best
      1. Avoid negative self-talk
      2. Look for the best in people, situations, problems
  3. You choose how you present yourself to your class
  4. These traits are available to all who wish to adopt them

I agree that all these traits are important.  Any time you can project confidence to others, they will respond well to it.  Sometimes you get a person who wants to challenge your confident leadership.  If they are right and you shouldn’t be leader, you can confidently and with dignity step aside.  If they are incorrect, you can confidently assert your leadership, and they typically back down.

A number of articles have pointed out the value of being honest and real in your praise and other communications.  You want to praise the behaviors and accomplishments, not the person, by describing what it is that was done right or done well.  Similarly, when addressing problems, describe what is wrong and how to fix it or improve.  This way no one has to spend any mental time trying to figure out what you want or if you are actually communicating some other message.

Being calm is important as well as being able to project excitement (versus nervous energy).  The key is knowing when to project it, and to not over-do it.  Too much excitement, too often, will burn the class out.

Basically, this article is saying to treat yourself well physically, mentally, and emotionally, and that will allow you to do the same for your students.  That will all work together to allow you to lead your students confidently and let them place their trust in you.


Article Text in Full

9 Ways To Have More Authority Next School Year

by Michael Linsin on July 22, 2017

Authority plays an important role in effective classroom management.

Because it affects how students view you.

It affects how well they listen to you and follow your directions.

It affects their behavior around you, their trust in you, and their respect for you.

Some teachers seem to have it right out of the box.

They walk into a room and students immediately sense a strong, sure leadership presence.

And it changes them.

They become calmer, more mature, and more polite. It imbues them with a desire to please and behave and be better students and people.

Although, at first glance, authority appears to be an inborn gift reserved for a lucky few, there is really no mystery at all.

Anyone can have more of it by emulating the following nine traits.

  1. Dress neatly.

Teachers are dressing more casually now than ever before. You’ll do well to buck the trend—because it has an effect on whether students perceive you as a leader worth following.

This doesn’t mean that you must dress formally or wear expensive clothes. General neatness in appearance and quality of clothing is key.

Dress like the leader you are and your students will treat you will greater respect. Sharp clothing will also make you feel more confident, which will further improve your authority.

  1. Stand tall.

Confidence in the way you carry yourself sends the message to students that you know what’s best for them and that you’re steering them in the right direction.

This frees them to let their guard down, accept your words as true, and place their trust in you.

So stand tall. Throw your shoulders back. Move, behave, and express yourself as if you know exactly what you’re doing. If you’re not feeling confident, that’s okay.

The appearance of confidence can have the same effect. According to research, simply changing your posture can make you feel more powerful and thus behave more confidently.

  1. Follow through.

This one is huge. Do what you say you’re going to do and over time your authority will skyrocket.

Be wishy-washy, however, break your promises and ignore your classroom management plan, and you’ll lose authority quickly. Everything you say will be called into question.

Your students will challenge you, argue with you, or pay you little mind. Some may even try to wrest control of the classroom right out of your hands.

  1. Honor the truth.

Be upfront and honest in all your dealings with students. Refuse to engage in over-the-top flattery or manipulation.

Steer clear of do-this and get-that rewards, catching students doing good, or token economies—which effectively snuff out intrinsic motivation.

Make your words of praise genuine and based on true accomplishment. Tell your students the truth about where they are both behaviorally and academically.

A direct approach is highly motivational. It will give you strong authority as well as a dignity and morality that is common to all great leaders.

  1. Be Pleasant.

The use of intimidation in any form is terrible leadership.

Lecturing, glaring, scolding, and losing your cool may frighten students into behaving in the short term, but the price is your respect, plummeting authority, and more and more misbehavior.

Being consistently pleasant, on the other hand, will give you effortless rapport, powerful leverage, and behavior-changing influence.

It will cause students to love you and want to get to know you better, without any additional effort from you. It will make your classroom management plan matter to them and work like it should.

  1. Be calm.

Teachers who rush around, who are frazzled, scatter-brained, and tense, will never have the same level of authority as those who are calm and prepared.

It’s not even close.

Nervous energy has a way of spreading throughout the classroom, infecting every inch. It causes excitability, inattentiveness, and a form of misbehavior that is very difficult to eliminate.

It also makes you look like you don’t know what you’re doing.

  1. Improve your speaking.

Teachers who struggle to gain authority tend to talk fast and ramble on and on. They repeat themselves and fill silences with ums and ers. They include details and asides that neither help nor advance learning.

They over communicate.

To improve your authority, as well as learning and interest, slow down. Be concise and stay on message. Finish your sentences and pause often to give your class a chance to comprehend what you say.

This will cause students to lean in and focus. It will draw them to you rather than push them away.

  1. Be physically prepared.

You can’t be an effective teacher, or one your students look up to, if you’re stressed out, tired, and irritable. Good teaching requires you to be at your best every day of the week.

Which means you must become efficient with lesson planning. You must stay focused during work hours and learn to say no. You must be productive rather than just busy.

Go home at a decent hour and get away from even thinking about school for a few hours.

Get your rest, exercise for energy, and sit down to eat real, whole food. Spend time with your family and friends or enjoy your favorite hobby.

This will not only improve your authority and likeability, but it will also make you a calmer, happier teacher.

  1. Choose to see only the best.

Negative thoughts—about students, your job, the curriculum, etc.—have a way of bubbling to the surface and revealing themselves in your behavior, body language, facial expressions, and even in the things that you say.

It’s something you can’t hide. And it will severely damage your ability to be an effective teacher.

Great teaching and inspired leadership is predicated on setting aside negative self-talk, refusing to engage in it and choosing instead to see only the best in the people, situations, and circumstances at hand.

It’s a choice, after all. It’s a choice that has a profound effect on how your students view you—as well as on your very happiness.

Do You Have It?

The nine ways to improve authority will separate you from the pack.

They’ll cause students to decide within just a few minutes of sizing you up that you’re someone worth their attention and respect.

They may not be able to put their finger on what it is about you that is special. But they’ll know it’s there, and that it’s different and powerful.

You just have it.

You have that secret sauce, that inexplicable mystery of presence and authority that causes parents and staff members alike to whisper words like charismatic, gifted, and “a natural” when describing you.

But the truth is, it’s nothing more than a set of traits available to anyone.

They’re available to anyone willing to adopt them for themselves and dare to be more than just another teacher.