Six Tenets to Successful Classroom Management

TENET  /ˈtiːnet/ : a principle or belief held by a person or group of people.

Instructions: Follow the tabs to improve your reading comprehension and vocabulary development.

Read the introduction and then match the phrases to the meanings.

Children need structure. They also need to know that they have a caring teacher who has their best interests at heart. The minute students walk into my 8th-grade classroom, they know they are entering a warm team environment which promotes unity and cohesiveness. This is why I always suggest having a theme. With my last name being Knight, I developed a Knight’s Lights theme, so decorated light bulbs cover my classroom signifying that I see my students as bright lights with dreams and goals. They receive my “newsletter”, and I share. “Welcome to Knight’s Lights: “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; If you can dream it, you can become it.”-William Ward. I have them help me unpack the quote. Now, we can discuss a standard expectation: I expect you to be seated and ready to learn when the bell rings. Likewise, you should expect me to be ready to teach. This shows it goes both ways, and we are creating a place of mutual respect and unity to abound.

Before you read Part 2 below, consider your teaching practice.  If/When you become a teacher what will your classroom rules be?  Read below to check if any of your rules are mentioned.

For rules, I have few, so I make them simple and straightforward.

  • Respect yourself and other people
    • We all have the right to be treated with respect and in Knight’s class no one is put down by anyone
  • Be prepared and cooperate in the learning process
  • Use school appropriate language and materials

As for consequences, we discuss that they make this choice. I add in information about attendance: My job is to make this class enjoyable and informative. I will never intentionally embarrass you. Your job is to come to class. Be there or be square. Neatness: I expect everything you turn in to be neat, or you will have to redo it. Homework and makeup work are discussed. I teach accountability and responsibility, so they understand “3 before me” which means if you miss class, you are responsible for making up the assignment. It is your responsibility to check with your team of three others if you miss. I will not be chasing you down. My discipline policy is simple: I prefer to deal directly with you instead of calling your parents. You are responsible for your own behavior. You behave yourself, and I’ll behave myself.

Finally, I mention funWe will have the maximum amount of fun allowable by law. Please bring your sense of humor to class.”

What I’m trying to establish is that I care and so should they. Much of this can be revised for any grade level. The big takeaways to effective classroom management come down to six key tenets:

We must remember that we are preparing kids for life not just for our classroom. If we have this long-term view, if we view each child as a bright light, and if we treat them with respect and hold high expectations for them, then we have set them up for success in and out of the classroom.


Knight, S. (2018, September 7) Six Tenets to Successful Classroom Management ASCD in-service.