Be STRICT and you’ll never guess what students will do next…

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​When teachers first begin holding students accountable and being strict they’re often surprised at what students do…

Teachers aren’t suprised by the improved behavior nor better attentiveness. For that’s what we hope for when enforcing rules and accountabilty. We expect improvement. 

But what knocks them for a loop are the hellos shouted halfway across campus. Or the big smiles, or a picture drawn for you, etc. Some students might try to talk to you outside of class. 

It’s easy now to build rapport. Why?

You see, when you consistently hold students accountable according to rules and expectations (and make sure to preteach, remind them, and make sure they understand), it makes you the most popular teacher at school.

Here’s why:

They respect it.

Integrity is rare in this day and age.

So when students meet someone that actually does what they say they’re going to do, they can’t help but be affected. They can’t help but to show a level of respect many have never felt toward another person. It’s really amazing to watch!

This inevitably draws them into your circle of influence. It causes them to want to be around you and learn from you, especially if you combine it with a kind and pleasantness.

It’s a combination of being a leader to them and that awesome feeling of when you know your students want to please you and behave for you—even if they’re uncontrollable with other teachers or even their own parents!

“I never behave well at home either!”

They appreciate it.

When you create a peaceful classroom environment, when students are free to learn and enjoy school without being interrupted, pestered, bothered, or bullied, they become profoundly appreciative. 

They’ve all been in classrooms where this doesn’t happen. They’ve all been in situations where they’ve had to suffer through entire years of chaos, rudeness, and ill behavior from other classmates or even teachers!

So when you take a stand for them, they recognize it.

They see the HUGE difference between a “normal” classroom and one that puts them first. And it means something to them deep down—something real and true and right.

They’re liberated by it.

Once you prove to your students that the agreed-upon consequences are the only consequences, and that you’re not going to lecture, scold, glare, admonish, or otherwise take their misbehavior personally, it frees them to truly enjoy your class.

It frees them to reflect and take responsibility for their mistakes and lets them know that your strict enforcement of the rules has nothing to do with how you feel about them.

This, in turn, safeguards your relationship with them. In fact, it makes their trust and belief in you, as well as your likeability, even stronger.

Teaching The Way It Should Be

Accountability that is promised by you ahead of time, and based on your detailed teaching and modeling of what is and isn’t okay, also frees you to love your class right back.

It frees you to teach with passion and laugh unencumbered and never, ever again create friction and animosity with your students—which makes building influential relationships much, much easier.

In fact, it makes it nearly effortless.

But you must be ever vigilant in your supervision of your students. You must enforce your consequences like a 

referee rather than a judge.

A knowledgable referee

You must allow your classroom management plan do its good work without your extra input, a show of frustration and getting angry, or any other long comments. 

So that your students will not only never hold your faithful accountability against you.

They’ll love you for it.


About Michael Linsin

Michael Linsin is the founder of Smart Classroom Management, the top classroom management blog on the web with over 120,000 subscribers.

 He has taught every grade level from kindergarten through high school for the past 27 years, and is the author of four bestselling books. When he isn’t writing and teaching, Michael enjoys hanging out with his wife (also a teacher) and two dogs and shooting a traditional English longbow.


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