This blog has recently gained many new readers. Because of that, I thought it might be worth sharing a  “A Look Back” where I periodically share my choices for the most important posts from the past twelve years. You can also see all of my choices for “Best” posts here.


Last summer, I wrote a fairly popular post headlined Leading With Inquiry, Not Judgment.

In it, I shared some examples of how first asking why people are doing some things (or not doing some things) prior to declaring judgment on those actions might be an effective strategy in many different arenas, including in the classroom.

Today, I read a piece on Medium that elaborated on that same concept, and it’s worth reading Laziness Does Not Exist: But unseen barriers do.

Here’s an excerpt:

Of course, it’s easy to forget this advice in the midst of teaching, and I often do…

Fortunately, however, I read Mr. Price’s article today, and tomorrow I was planning on doing “walk-and-talks” with two students who have been experiencing challenges in several classes, including mine.

Asking them about why they behaving in some ways, or why they think they might be acting in those ways or, if they don’t know, why they think students in general might act in those ways, is clearly a better way to go than immediately judging their behavior. They may very well not have answers – then. But it could set the stage for future conversations.

If nothing else, it can bring me into alignment with the best piece of classroom management advice I’ve ever read (from Marvin Marshall):

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?

I’m adding this post to Best Posts On Classroom Management.