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Hopeful or Hopeless?

Management Minute

Have you ever asked yourself this question: Does the way I manage my classroom leave my students feeling hopeful or hopeless?

If you aren’t sure of the answer, here are some additional questions to consider:

  • How do I respond to misbehavior? Do I leave space for students to feel loved and safe in my classroom, even when they push my buttons? Have I found ways to remind them that I care and want the best for them throughout the discipline process?
  • Does my discipline demean my students, or do I remind them that they are not defined by their mistakes?
  • Do my students feel like they will never win my approval, no matter what they do or how hard they try? On the flip side, do any of my students feel they can get away with anything because I adore them and will not correct them for things they do wrong?
  • Do students feel free to ask questions or are they nervous to speak up in class? Would my students feel comfortable bringing up a mistake I made in grading a quiz? How would I respond if they did?

This process of reflection can be complicated. But the rewards are worth the time and effort. 

As I reflect on my own practices, I have realized that I fall short of demonstrating hope in my classroom at times. The thought that my students have ever felt hopeless in my presence deeply grieves me. 

But, when this happens, I can address my failure by asking my students for forgiveness and being more intentional about fostering hope in the future. And, I can seek God in prayer:

Dear God,

I want to bring hope to my students as You have brought hope to my life.  

Please help me reflect on how I manage my classroom. Show me if my emotional responses, unforgiveness, struggles, favoritism, or classroom procedures may be causing my students to feel hopeless. Give me the strength to ask my students for forgiveness and help me to change that behavior. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, use me to foster hope in my students.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Linda Kardamis taught middle school math before founding Teach 4 the Heart. She is the author of Create Your Dream Classroom and Take Heart and Teach and the creator of Classroom Management 101. She and her husband are raising their four kids in Northeast Ohio.

Linda's 6-week summer course Your Smooth-Running Class will help you create a comprehensive behavior plan so you can stop fearing the next discipline issue and feel confident knowing how to address them. Get support every step of the way.
Christian Educators Members with Coverage receive a 40% discount on all Teach 4 the Heart courses as a benefit of membership. Log in to your membership account at to access your discount code.


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