This blog has gotten a lot of new readers over the past year. Because of that, I thought it might be worth sharing a daily “A Look Back” where I share a best post from the past twelve years. You can also see all of my choices for “Best” posts here.

aitoff / Pixabay


My first year in teaching was spent with a self-contained class of retained seventh-graders.  Right above the whiteboard in our classroom I wrote this question on a poster: “Is what you’re doing, or is what you’re thinking about doing, going to help you get what you want?”  I think periodically reflecting on that question in class was mildly effective.

Marvin Marshall, who is my favorite (by far) writer/thinker on positive classroom management, wrote a different (and, I think, better) question that we as teachers might want to consider asking ourselves regularly. He wrote:

Will what I am about to do or say bring me closer or will it push me away farther from the person with whom I am communicating?

Of course, that’s not a bad question for us to consider in all our interpersonal relationships, either…

You can see all my classroom management-related resources here.