Balancing Friendliness With Firmness

By Crystal Frommert 
edutopia.org
4 min



By setting clear expectations for behavior early on, teachers can have fun with their students without losing control of their classrooms.


Whether you have been teaching for 20 minutes or 20 years, it can be easy to fall into acting like a friend with your students. In my experience, I don’t realize it until students start to push boundaries.

Preteens and teens seem to have an uncanny talent for sensing when teachers are wavering in their stance. Once you shrug your shoulders or say “Well…” as you think about their request, they will pounce! This shows up in the form of attempts to get the lesson off-topic or bend the rules. “Come on, just let us have a free period today” or “The other teachers let us listen to whatever music we want during class” or “Can we sit wherever we want today? Pleeeeease!”

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