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Keep the Small Stuff Big Classroom Psychology

Craig Seganti

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Today my class was quietly reading. One student, in the front, was reading, but he was leaned over and had his foot out to the side.

I walked by, monitoring, and said quietly “Brent, turn around to a 90 degree angle to your desk and sit up. "

No big deal, right?

Worth mentioning? Yes. When students see that you monitor the small actions that aren't truly conducive to overall classroom learning, they realize at another level that grand misbehavior is out of the question. The other students also hear me say the comment, probably don't even notice the effect themselves, but understand intuitively I will be on top of all situations great and small.

So paying attention to every small thing that doesn't contribute positively to your classroom environment will keep the big picture going nicely as well. It gives a strong psychological message that you have a high behavior standard.

Wait for the big events to happen, and you will get more ‘big stuff’ happening. You don't want that.

Think: “Do I want to let that little flame turn into a forest fire later, or put it out now?"

Do not allow a little disrespect, a little tardiness, a little disruption, a little lack of effort-these things all escalate-stay on top of it all and your days will go easier.

If you think, ‘That's no big deal, I'll let it go’ you are right about the first part. But when you let it go, things become a big deal quickly. Keep the small stuff big to keep from getting to the big stuff.

Here's to happy teaching,

Craig Seganti

Here's to happy teaching-

In my eBook “Classroom Discipline 101" I outline all of the techniques that I have used with the toughest students in Los Angeles over the last 20 years to consistently get a quiet, respectful, on-task classroom under any circumstance. The concepts I teach have been tested in the field and are the methods that work in the real world. You can download the book and get even the toughest classrooms under control at

Here's to happy teaching,

Craig Seganti


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