Monthly Staff PD - January


We have spent the entire school year on classroom management (CM) and we aren’t slowing down!

During the first half of the year, we were focused on the structure of classroom management. And we hit some great concepts:

I also wanted to give a quick shout-out to two books that early-career teachers might find enormously applicable to the idea of structure in the classroom:

The Classroom Management and The First Days of School by Harry and Rosemary Wong. (Note: I don’t make any money if you purchase at these links; I just think they’re incredible resources).

If you’re a paid subscriber and have been following our weekly emailable PD, you’re familiar with how we structure our PD resources. We believe that all CM strategies and philosophies focus on one of two main concepts:

  1. Structure

  2. Relationship

Both are critical to healthy classrooms. And since structure is often the backbone of a well-managed classroom, we always begin with it. Now that we’ve laid that foundation, we’re ready to move on.

This month, we’re making a big pivot from talking about structure to discussing the importance of relationships in the classroom, and we’ll continue to focus on this topic through the rest of the year.

Monthly Staff PD - January

Topic: Classroom Management - Building Relationships with Students

Staff Objectives:

  • I (the teacher) can define school connectedness and explain how it decreases anti-social student behaviors and increases healthy student behaviors

  • I can evaluate which relationship-building activities will be most effective for my classroom

  • I can design and schedule an activity that will introduce me to my students and help me to learn more about them


There’s no shortage of icebreaker activities to be employed at the beginning of the year. However, some teachers like to stop there and then jump right into academics. In my experience, both firsthand and in my research of great teachers, this is an oversight.

Taking the time to allow students to get to know you as a person, and allowing them to do the same, is truly critical. And in the teacher interviews in this month’s video, a kindergarten and high school teacher both share how they get to know their students and the common pitfalls that they try to avoid.

Now, some might ask why we’re covering this in the middle of the year rather than at the beginning. That’s simple. Three quick reasons:

  1. As previously mentioned, structure was our initial focus

  2. If your teachers never tried this, it can be easily done at the beginning of the second semester

  3. It’s never too late to start planning how you’ll kick things off next year

How to Use this Content:

  1. Open and edit the slideshow linked below as needed. A lot of the research from the video is shared here.

  2. Show the video above. (A YouTube link to the video is also included in the slideshow linked below. You can embed it or link to it anywhere you’d like)

  3. Complete the activity found in the slideshow.

This post is for paid subscribers

Hey, Mike Alpert!
Hey, Mike Alpert!