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A Tale of Irony: Spring Classroom Management

classroom management education consultant educational leadership keynote speaker leadership coaching motivational speaker professional development public speaking stand tall steve steve bollar Apr 29, 2023

Do you ask Alexa, “When is the next full moon?” more than once a week? Guess what? Spring fever has arrived! How can you make the days count instead of counting the days?

     As the school year winds down, it's more important than ever to maintain effective classroom management strategies to ensure a smooth and positive finish to the year. If you have been a part of the Stand Tall Leadership community, you are already familiar with the results formula for climate and culture. However, if you are new to the Stand Tall Leadership family, get ready for a simple mindset with practical solutions. By focusing on the main pillars of a practical classroom management plan need– Respect, Recognize, Reward,  Reinforce, and celebrate success – teachers can create a supportive, engaging learning environment that promotes student success and growth. Isn’t that our main goal as classroom teachers, student growth? 



There’s a reason the legendary Aretha Franklin’s rendition of “Respect” hit the top of the charts.  “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me!” That is exactly the point. What does respect mean and look like to you? What do you respect and value?

     Respect is a crucial component of effective classroom management. Teachers, administrators, and all school leaders should model respectful behavior toward students and encourage them to show respect for their peers, the learning environment, and the learning process. It is vital to identify what you respect and value in your classroom to set expectations and boundaries for a successful learning and working community. Creating a classroom and work environment with a culture of respect is critical. Create an inclusive classroom culture that values every student's voice and encourages active participation.  

     Simply stated, Stand TALL and lead by example. So turn up Aretha’s hit song, have a dance party, and discuss what you respect and value with your class. Not sure where to start? Here is a list of powerful and positive respect words that can help you better identify and define what you respect and value: Respect and Value



Is there such a thing as too much recognition? So roll out the red carpet, get your picture day smiles ready, and recognize your students! 

     Recognizing student achievements and successes is an essential part of classroom management. Celebrate student accomplishments, improvements, and milestones, whether a good grade on a test or a personal achievement outside the classroom. Praise your students for their hard work and accomplishments throughout the year, especially in the final days. 

     Don’t know who to recognize? Start with the students who showcase and exhibit specifically what you respect and value.  Always bring it back to the list. Celebrate their successes and encourage them to keep up the excellent work. Catch them in the act, and give out praise like Oprah, especially for the students needing positive feedback to make better choices!!! How do you enjoy recognizing students? Is it a certificate, a positive phone call home, or a shout-out on the morning announcements? 

     Recently, I was recognized as one of the “Top 30" Global Gurus in Education, an international list highlighting the most influential people in education.  I was humbled and honored by this recognition, and it has fueled and inspired me to contribute even more to the world of educational and business leadership. Check it out! Global Gurus World's Top 30 Education Professionals for 2023



What rewards do your students go absolutely insane for? I’m talking about kids unable to contain the excitement just to enter your classroom door! What will motivate them to do their best? What will bring that ‘extra recess’ excitement to the classroom daily? 

     Rewards can be an effective way to encourage positive behavior and motivate students to do their best. Rewards can be as simple as verbal praise or recognition or tangible rewards like stickers, certificates, or extra privileges. Rewards should be meaningful and appropriate to the behavior being recognized. You recognize students for what they are supposed to do. You reward students when they go above and beyond what they are supposed to do.  That's the difference.

Looking for free or inexpensive rewards? Check out “Ideas, Ideas, Ideas.”




How many times did I…?

Didn’t you read the directions?

It’s the last marking period, how do you not…?

Stop pulling your hair out. Trust me, it doesn’t always grow back! Instead, take the stress out of the moment and use your teacher's superhero power of positive reinforcement.

     There is power in repetition. This time of the year isn't the time to stop the repetition, but the perfect time to double down on repetition. Reinforce positive behavior by acknowledging and praising students when they demonstrate the behaviors you want to see in your classroom. Positive reinforcement can be as simple as saying "thank you" or "well done" to a student who follows directions or shows kindness to a classmate. Reinforcing positive behavior will create a positive culture and motivate students to continue demonstrating positive behaviors. Bring it back to what you respect and value. Check out this valuable resource you can use today! See what I did there? REPETITION!

     If you feel spring fever is starting to creep in, and for some of us, it’s already in full force, remember learners benefit from a structured environment with predictable routines. So dust off classroom expectations and reflect on how expectations can evolve as your classroom has throughout the year. 

  • Set clear expectations: Reinforce your classroom expectations and rules with your students. Make sure they understand what is expected of them and the consequences for not meeting them.  By this time, they know the rules! Have them posted.
  • Is THAT child (or do you have the luck for more) still pushing all your buttons? Have you tried all the interventions and tricks in your teacher bag to improve student performance? 

    If you have concerns about a student’s academic or behavioral success, communicate with parents sooner. Keep parents informed of their child's progress and any concerns you may have. Even in the final days, regular communication will build trust and strengthen the partnership between teachers and parents. Build that connection with the family even as you cross the finish line of the school year together. 
  • Consistency is key. Be consistent with your classroom management strategies. If you have been using a particular system all year, continue to use it until the end. Students thrive on routine and consistency; changing your approach could disrupt their learning. 

     However contradictory it is, be flexible. Be prepared to make adjustments as needed. The end of the school year can be a busy and unpredictable time, and flexibility is critical to maintaining a positive and productive learning environment. Last-minute assemblies, field trips, and final exam schedules don’t have to add additional stress to the end of the year.  Be flexible.


Celebrate Success 

Celebrate good times, come on! 

     Celebrating student success and progress is a great way to promote a positive learning environment. Take time to acknowledge and celebrate your student's achievements at the end of the year. Whether it's a simple celebration in the classroom or an awards ceremony, celebrating success can help to reinforce positive behavior and create a sense of community and support among students. Don’t underestimate the power of a handwritten note with a heartfelt message of appreciation. Gang, it does not need to come from Pinterest, just from the heart.

      The last few weeks of the school year hold your final opportunity to build relationships. You have taken the time to connect with your students on a personal level. Talk about their interests, hobbies, and challenges as you reflect upon the end of the year. Building relationships with your students will help create a positive and supportive learning environment, and these are the students that will come back to your door for visits long after the last day of school. Enjoy these final days! You’ve put in the work on these relationships!  Did you have a teacher that you connected with? What kind of impact did that have on you?

     Gang, you have the teacher superpowers to promote an effective classroom management system that supports student success and engagement. Remember to model respectful behavior, reinforce positive behavior, reward student achievement, recognize student success, and celebrate the progress of your students. These strategies will help to create a supportive and motivating environment that promotes student growth and learning even in the final days of the school year. 

     Come back for more tips, tricks, and inspiration. Always remember, when you STAND TALL, you don’t think small.

Need a pep talk? Check out this video! The RESULTS Formula Towards Class Rules on Proper Behavior: A Positive Reinforcement Approach

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