13 Tips to be Firm in Your Classroom




How to be firm in your classroom

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Are you a teacher looking for ways to manage your classroom more effectively? If so, then this blog post is for you. 

We’ve gathered thirteen tips that will help you be more firm with your students without compromising your relationship with them. 

Read on to learn how to create a productive learning environment and keep your students engaged.

Warning: Be firm, but not mean.


Tips to Be Firm with Your Students in the Classroom

1. Establish Clear Rules and Expectations

As a teacher, establishing clear rules and expectations for my students can help me be more firm in the classroom. 

Giving students a say in the expectations helps them to feel valued, and an intentional approach to setting the expectations ensures that they are concrete and easily understood. 

Setting classroom expectations helps ensure that each day runs efficiently, and it is one of the most effective ways to impact student learning. 

It is important to provide consequences for any disruption of the rules, while also catching students “being good” when possible. 

The rules should be clear, and expectations should be defined before beginning the lesson. If you are thinking about how to create effective classroom rules, I have got you covered. Check here for a guide.

Additionally, establishing norms helps prevent disruptive behavior and allows for an effective reaction at the moment. 

Using a syllabus to set out expectations can also help create unified expectations, rules, and procedures. All of this helps me as a teacher to be more firm with my students in the classroom.

2. Create Routines and Structures

Creating routines and structures for my students helps me be more firm with them in my classroom by providing a consistent and predictable sequence of events. 

This helps students understand what is expected of them, reduces disruptive behavior, and maximizes the time spent on learning. 

For students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, routines and structure can be especially helpful in helping them succeed in school. 

As I establish these routines, I provide extra support and reassurance to my students while also allowing freedom within the framework of procedures. 

With this balance of structure and flexibility, I am able to create an environment that is conducive to learning.

3. Communicate Firmly, But Kindly

As a teacher, it is important for me to communicate firmly but kindly with my students. This helps me to reduce conflict, control anger, and have my needs better met. 

It also enables me to have more positive relationships with my students. When I communicate assertively, I share my opinions without judging the students for theirs. 

This helps me to create an environment where all learners can understand and feel included in the classroom. 

Furthermore, I ask open-ended questions such as “tell me more” to help the person feel more comfortable and create an interactive learning experience. 

As a result, I am more confident in being firm with my students in the classroom setting and can care deeply about them without feeling exhausted. 

In this way, communicating firmly but kindly helps me be more firm with my students in my classroom and ensure that they receive the best possible education.

4. Utilize Appropriate Consequences

Utilizing appropriate consequences for both inappropriate and appropriate behavior among my students helps me be more firm with them in my classroom. 

This can be done by providing positive consequences to increase appropriate behaviors as opposed to providing negative consequences. 

Additionally, I make sure to provide clear and concise directions to students who need guidance. 

Furthermore, I make it a point to be aware of my school’s culture, the ages of my students, etc. when choosing consequences, as what is appropriate and helpful in one situation may not be in another. 

Lastly, if I face disrespect from my students, I remain civil and calm so that I can model the appropriate behavior for them.

5. Model Respectful Behavior

Modeling respectful behavior for my students is an effective way to help them learn more respectful behavior. 

The techniques I use to replace old habits with new, more respectful ones are positive reinforcement, setting clear expectations, and modeling the behavior I want to see. 

By showing my students that I care about them and have their best interests at heart, they are more likely to be cooperative and follow rules, resulting in a more positive classroom environment. 

Additionally, by being respectful towards them and setting clear expectations of their behavior, I am able to maintain control in the classroom without having to resort to yelling or other forms of intimidation. 

This not only reinforces good behavior but also shows my students how to respect each other and me. 

Ultimately, modeling respectful behavior helps me be more firm with my students in my classroom by showing them that there are consequences for misbehavior.

6. Stick to Your Word

As a teacher, having a consistent approach in my classroom is key to maintaining firmness and authority. 

Sticking to my word shows my students that I am serious about enforcing the rules and boundaries I have set for them. 

This consistency helps build trust between me and my students, as they know that I will hold them accountable for their actions. 

When I stick to my word, my students are more likely to respect me and the rules I have set out for them. 

This is especially important when it comes to disciplining students, as they need to know that I am serious about enforcing the rules and won’t be swayed by any excuses they may make. 

Ultimately, by demonstrating that I am consistent in what I say and do, my students understand that I mean business and will be less likely to challenge me in the classroom.

7. Do Not Give In To Negotiating

When I was a newbie, I struggled with negotiating with my students when it came to the basic parameters of the classroom. 

Although I had some experience in negotiation, I found that it was difficult to maintain a firm position while also trying to build a good relationship with my students. 

To help me be more firm with them, I decided not to give in to negotiating and instead focus on helping them govern their own behavior in ways that helped them learn. 

Before class, I would meet with the students and ask them to help me come up with ways to keep the class running smoothly. 

This gave the student a sense of ownership and control over their own behavior, which made it easier for me to stay firm without feeling like I was punishing them. 

8. Avoid Empty Threats

As an educator, I understand the importance of being firm with my students. One way I make sure I am being effective is by not making threats, especially empty ones. 

Making threats can have a negative impact on the student-teacher relationship as well as on the student’s overall attitude toward learning. 

Instead of making threats, I try to use positive reinforcement and incentivize good behavior. 

For example, instead of threatening punishment if they don’t complete their work, I reward them with points or extra credit when they do their work in a timely manner. 

This approach has been very effective in helping me stay firm with my students while still fostering a positive learning environment.

9. Maintain Professionalism At All Times

Maintaining my professionalism at all times with my students helps me be more firm with them in the classroom by setting clear expectations of behavior and achievement. 

My experience has taught me that it is more important for students to respect me than to be my friend. To gain their respect, I need to show interest in their lives and let them know I care. 

I have learned to develop tact so that I can boost my credibility and hold their attention. 

Additionally, I am firm with my rules and do not allow leniency because it will only encourage students to break them. 

Finally, I have set more refined goals for the classroom. This way, my students can see what they are working towards.

10. Be Prepared For Resistance

Be prepared for resistance when implementing rules and expectations in the classroom. 

Students may attempt to challenge your decisions or push back against changes, so it is important to stay firm and consistent when enforcing classroom policies. 

Be clear about your expectations, and remain impartial and fair in all situations. Find a balance between being strict and being kind, as students can quickly sense any inconsistencies or favoritism. 

Establishing a structured environment with clearly defined boundaries will help maintain a safe learning atmosphere that allows students to thrive without fear of disruption or negative consequences. 

Remind them that while they are allowed to express their opinions, they must do so respectfully and within the parameters you have set out. 

If any issues arise, address them promptly with patience, while keeping in mind that every individual is unique and should be treated with respect.

11. Find Positive Ways To Praise Good Behavior

Praising good behavior is one of the best ways to encourage students to keep doing what they’re doing. 

Positive reinforcement helps build self-confidence and encourages children to strive for greater success. 

It also helps foster a positive classroom environment where students feel valued and respected.

One way to praise good behavior is verbal.

For example, if a student does something particularly noteworthy, tell the student how proud you are of them or give them a high five or handshakes. 

This lets the student know that their hard work has been noticed and appreciated.

Another way to reward good behavior is with nonverbal cues such as smiles and nods of approval. 

This type of feedback lets students know that their efforts are appreciated without having to say anything aloud.

It’s also important to recognize small successes as well as big ones. Recognize when a student completes an assignment on time, follows directions correctly, or displays exceptional effort in class activities. 

This not only reinforces positive behaviors but also motivates other students to do the same in order to receive recognition from you.

Finally, don’t forget about providing tangible rewards for good behavior! Try offering small rewards like stickers or extra free time for completing tasks.

12. Know When To Walk Away

When it comes to dealing with difficult students, it is important to know when to walk away. 

Walking away does not mean giving up or avoiding a situation, but rather finding a better way to handle the situation that will lead to a successful outcome. 

Walking away can be an effective tool for de-escalating the situation and allowing you time to think through the best way forward. 

When walking away from a student in distress, remain calm and respectful. Speak in a low tone and avoid using strong words or phrases. 

Provide reassurance that you are still there for them and that you are listening if they need help. 

By taking this step back, you can help create an environment of safety where both you and your student feel respected and supported.

13. Take Care Of Yourself Physically & Mentally

Taking care of your physical and mental health is essential for living a happy and productive life. 

Your mind and body are connected, so it’s important to give them both the attention they need. 

This means eating healthy, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, managing stress levels, and taking time for yourself.

Eating healthy is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Eating right can help you feel energized throughout the day, boost your immunity, improve your mood, and regulate your weight. 

Make sure to include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet, as well as lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats like avocados and olive oil.

Exercising regularly helps reduce stress levels while improving muscle tone, cardiovascular health, flexibility, strength, and balance. 

Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity most days of the week, such as walking or running outdoors or swimming in the pool. 

Other activities like yoga or Pilates can help with muscular flexibility as well as relaxation techniques that can be useful when feeling overwhelmed or anxious.

It’s also important to get enough sleep every night so that you can wake up feeling refreshed each morning, ready to take on anything that comes your way during the day without feeling.


The conclusion is that setting high expectations and developing an effective discipline plan can have a positive impact on student achievement and behavior. 

To ensure that these expectations are met, it is important for teachers to maintain a leadership role in the classroom by speaking only when students are quiet and ready, assigning seats, establishing routines for passing out and collecting work, as well as applying techniques like Canters’ Suggestions to teach students how to behave. 

Additionally, teachers should be firm and direct with their students in order to effectively deal with difficult situations. 

Finally, it is essential to remember that students learn best when they are actively engaged in learning activities, so providing engaging tasks is key for a successful learning environment.

About the author

Latest posts

  • Enhancing Classroom Communication With Visual Aids

    As a teacher, I’ve noticed that students often lose interest quickly. However, when I use visual aids in my lessons, the classroom becomes much more engaging. I want to share with you 15 effective ways that visual aids have made learning more exciting. These tools, which include interactive whiteboards and detailed mind maps, do more…

    Read more

  • Boosting Student Participation: 13 Communication Tips for Success

    As an educator, my goal is to find effective ways to increase student participation in the classroom. It’s important to understand that communication plays a crucial role in engaging students. In this article, I will share 13 communication tips that have proven to be successful in creating a positive classroom environment and fostering open dialogue…

    Read more

  • Why Is Empathy Essential for Effective Classroom Communication?

    Empathy is really important when we talk with our students. When we understand how they feel, it helps remove barriers and makes learning easier. Empathy builds trust, makes the classroom a supportive place, and gets students truly involved. When we pay attention to each student’s specific situation and treat them with respect, we’re doing more…

    Read more