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Stop Hoping – The Key to Success in the Classroom

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker

I found this quote so true, especially in the classroom.

When you arrive at school each day, you are hoping for a good day. You’re hoping that the kids will behave, and you hope that they will participate and learn.

You’re not thinking about the rest of the week or month or year.  You just hope the rest of the day is going to be successful.

Before walking into my classroom, I would try and psych myself up by saying, “Today is going to be a great day. Today is going to be a great day. Today is going to be a great day.”

I was thinking positive and trying to focus on preparing myself for the day, but really I was saying, “I hope today is going to be a great day. I hope…”

It was all hope.

Hope is good, but hoping alone won’t give you that success in the classroom that you are looking for.

I learned that the hard way.stop_hoping

We have to stop hoping.  (Yes, I said it.)

I know that sounds bad, but let me finish.

Hoping for a good day is not good enough. I can hope that my car makes it all the way to school and back, but hope won’t make it happen. I need to maintain my car and put gas in it on a regular basis.

As a school administrator, I get to school, and I have my list of things to do – meetings, phone calls, reports, etc. What I can’t plan for are the events that take place beyond my control – concerned parents, class disruptions, conflicts between students, surprise visits, etc. I really don’t have too much control of what my day will be like. I really can only hope for a crisis-free day.

This is so different than when I was a teacher.

As a teacher, I pretty much knew what was going to happen in my class. I had a plan. There were really no surprises outside of the occasional unannounced fire drill or technical malfunction.

Still, I found myself a little confused as to why many times my days didn’t turn out as I had hoped for.

What I realized – a little too late in my career, unfortunately – was that the kind of day that I had in my classroom was determined, in a large part, by how well I planned my lesson.

Had I known better, I could have been able to create my future a little better. It all depended on how much time I spent creating my lesson plans.

On those days when I came in with a plan that was thrown together at the last minute, I left school at the end of the day frustrated and exhausted. I would wonder why I didn’t have a good day. I used to blame the kids or their parents or both for the bad outcome of my day.

The problem that I was hoping for, instead of creating a successful day.

What I learned, and what I hope to teach new and soon-to-be teachers, is that the quality of your lesson plan will determine the quality of your day. You can indeed predict the future by creating it.

I would encourage new and soon-to-be teachers to think about the future you want. What kind of classroom experience to you want to have?

It’s more than just hope.

It’s about taking action to create the kind of future you want for your day, month, year.

Focus on investing more time in lesson preparation. Take it from someone who learned the hard way. A little more time spent on creating lesson plans will pay off in a big way throughout the year.


Let’s stop hoping.

Let’s start creating.


Thank you for not hoping anymore.

: )


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You are amazing!


Don’t forget to check out my latest ebook: The Amazing Teacher Pledge – 10 Promises that Amazing Teachers Make and Keep Every Day.

Until next time, here’s to your Success in the Classroom!




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