The Whisper Correction

There are several aspects in our Conscious Classroom Management program.

Firstly, we look at Teacher Presence. It is the most significant aspect in the classroom; the teacher in the room in creating leadership and culture. Other aspects are Practical Strategies and Classroom Management and Teaching like:

  • Preventative Management Strategies
  • Supportive Management Strategies
  • Corrective Management Strategies

The Whisper Correction

The main idea is that we want to spend a lot of time and energy looking at what can prevent distraction and misbehaviour. But obviously, regardless of what we put in place, there are going to be times when we need to support our students to get back on task, and that’s the Supportive Management strategies.

Then there are the Corrective Management strategies. The reason I wanted to show you this is because I love Supportive Management Strategies in the classroom. As a teacher, especially if our presence is not right which is the first area of this conscious classroom management training, sometimes we can overreact to things that are not really big issues in regards to student behaviour or distraction.

Supportive Management strategies really look at supporting the student to get back on task without stopping the flow of the lesson or getting 30 people, who are now looking at our show, between the teacher and the student. In other words, if the teacher’s reaction is more than the student’s misbehaviour, that can stop the flow of the lesson.

I love the post by Doug Lemov where he has a short video clip which I’d like to show you. It’s about a teacher in his Math class, Jason Armstrong, and a technique called the Whisper Correction. I really love this and I wanted to show you how this works and how it relates to Supportive Management strategies.

At the 2:17 mark he whispers, “I’m writing, you’re writing. Don’t miss it.” It’s a very soft supportive correction which means there’s little interruption to the flow of the class.

The other thing I love in this scene 2:39 is you see that he’s walking around the classroom, so he’s constantly checking being present in the room.

You’ll see at 3:00, the girl at the front that he spoke to originally has got a hand up and her head is resting on her other arm on the table. And watch this correction at 3:09

“I’d call on you if you’d sit up next time.” What I really love about this is that the teacher has a strong presence in the room, doesn’t compromise on expectations and is consistently teaching not just the content but the behaviour and the procedures of the class consistently. The students then have a clear understanding about what is expected.

The other thing I liked about what the teacher did in 3:33 is not only did he whisper and look at the student but he also used his hands to gesture sitting up. A fantastic example of a Supportive Management strategy. Not only was he assisting the student to get back on task without interrupting the flow of the lesson, he was also teaching here not just the content but behaviour and the procedures of the class.

CLICK HERE to find out more about the NEW Conscious Classroom Management Training, which is now online.

What’s The Most Important Part Of Classroom Management?

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When I present my Classroom Management Training, I ask the teachers who attend:

What do you think is the most important aspect of Classroom Management?

The teachers provide some terrific, valid responses in which all of them are obviously critical in creating good classroom management. Things like:

  • Creating good rapport and relationships with the students
  • Being able to organize your classroom
  • Providing creative and engaging lessons
  • Being consistent

All of these are obviously critical in making sure that you have good classroom management of your class. However, if we would really be pushed to identify the most important, the most critical aspect of classroom management, I would have to say to you that would be Teacher Presence.

What's the Most Important Part of Classroom Management?

In the Conscious Classroom Management Training, the very first topic we look at just before morning tea is this idea of Teacher presence and how we develop it, what creates it. Of course the rest of the day, we then do look at classroom management strategies.

Teacher presence is who we are in the classroom, strategies is what we do in the classroom. The strategies are divided and systemized into:

  • Preventive strategies
  • Supportive strategies and,
  • Corrective strategies

The reason why Teacher presence is the most important aspect of classroom management is that all too often we may go racing in with different strategies to manage our classroom and if we don’t bring the correct presence into the room, who we are, well then the strategies obviously aren’t going to take hold and what we can do and what can be tempting is to blame the strategy, or worse, the students, the school or the parents – everyone else but the teacher. While this is a provocative and controversial concept at times, it’s very important to make sure that we understand that Teacher presence is important because it can save a lot of time.

One of the things we need to do is to look at what beliefs we have or what’s the mindset that we have. The question we need to ask ourselves if we are struggling to manage a class is:

Are the beliefs that I’m taking into that classroom working?
Am I feeling good about it?
Am I satisfied with the class?
Is it working with the students?

If the answers are No to that, well then we’ll need to analyse our own mindset and the negative beliefs and change them.

Firstly, identify the negative beliefs and then we need to challenge them and that’s how we change the beliefs.

Is that true that the student doesn’t want to learn?
Could there be other things that are driving that student’s behaviour?
What else is contributing to this?

We need to have a full analysis of what’s going on and that includes obviously looking at ourselves and the negativity or the negative mindset that we could be bringing into the class because that will affect who we are in the room and our presence. As Einstein says,

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

If what you’re doing in a particular class is not working, it’s time to change that. It might very well be that you want to just come in to that class with a new mindset. That is a lot easier said than done and we have more information about this on our website,

You may want to come to one of our trainings, and there are some testimonials below on this page that’ll give you some insights about how teachers found the Classroom Management Training.

Here is a small but powerful action step.  Identify the teachers in your school who have great presence?  You’ll know who they are because they are teachers who command respect and attention in the classroom or about walking into a classroom and the students will be giving them their attention even before the teacher asks for it. It would be very worthwhile to identify who they are and spend some time with them. You know who I’m talking about. You do have teachers like that in your school.

Don’t ask them what are the strategies you’re using, it would be good to pick their mind about how do they see teaching, how do they see the students. When they have a student who is misbehaving, how do they view that student? Pick their mindset and then model that.

I hope to see you at one of our Conscious Classroom Management Trainings this year. There’s only 4 in Sydney scheduled or perhaps you may want to email me at [email protected]. I’d be more than happy to help you out in any way or find out some more information on our website.

Here are testimonials from attendees at the Conscious Classroom Management Training in Sydney

Click here to find out more about the Conscious Classroom Management Training and register online

The strategies in the Conscious Classroom Management Training are good. Although I use most of these strategies, the way you employ and use them makes a difference.

Calvin Ambrose, Christian Brothers School

The video clips in the Conscious Classroom Management Training were entertaining. I find the importance of establishing clear teaching procedures useful – I’m certainly going to introduce this at the start of the new year; a very informative and practical workshop.

Eve Tsevekidis, Kingsgrove High School

I found the Conscious Classroom Management Training useful because it reinforces or renews information previously known.

Maria Duffy, Kingsgrove High School

Make the course in the Conscious Classroom Management Training a little bit longer so it is not so rushed. The psychology info at the beginning was good to.

Renée Beyer, Kirrawee High School

The Conscious Classroom Management Training will help me connect with students.

Shahrokh Ghahfarrokhi, Morisset High School

I like the emphasis on explicitly teaching rules, expectations and behaviour explicitly, just like any other aspects of the curriculum. The Conscious Classroom Management Workshop reignited my passion for teaching and belief that all students are worth teaching and want to learn! Thank you!

Radhika Dixon, Greenacre Public School

As a teacher in a behaviour or emotional disorder school, it was great to see that the strategies we have in place are what you recommend! I’m not sure I could use all the teaching or learning strategies in the Conscious Classroom Management Training but I will try to modify them and give some a go. I did find the presentation very engaging – you have great presence! It did seem high school focussed at times but I suppose it’s hard to give examples outside your own experience, although it would have been beneficial (for me) to have some stuff framed in a “primary setting” way. However, to be fair, my classroom of K-4 emotionally disturbed students probably doesn’t fit a high school or primary school environment!
I actually found that the extra slides that you showed at the beginning were incredibly beneficial and should be part of this presentation all the time. I visit mainstream teachers every week and they all want to know when and how I am going to “change” the student that is in my class before they return to mainstream of fix them. Realising that the students choose their behaviour and that you can’t make them change is a powerful piece of information or insight for all teachers. It frames beautifully everything else you present. Sorry about the essay!

Linda O’callaghan, Cook School

The Conscious Classroom Management Training reaffirmed a lot of what I was already doing (good stuff) and made me realise some of my negative approaches to management. This would be an excellent P.D. for teachers just starting their teaching profession (along with everyone else) as when people leave one and start teaching, they either have been told conflicting help on management or have no guidance whatsoever. This info is great and will support one into the rest of any career.

Helen Scevity, Menai High School

I highly recommend the Conscious Classroom Management Training for greater understanding and results.

Mark Ranftl, Wollemi College

The Conscious Classroom Management Training was very useful. There was intensive presentation and discussion about classroom management.

Welmince Djulete, Flinders University

The Conscious Classroom Management Training was interesting, informative and useful. The information is very practical and comprehensive.

Lilis Su’adah, Flinders University

The Conscious Classroom Management Training is useful because you used real cases.

Emma Fredman, Kensington Public School

I found the Conscious Classroom Management Training because of the practical examples.

Sara Vaccaro, Killarney Heights High School

The Conscious Classroom Management Training is very useful and practical. Thank you!

Marian Botros, Kirrawee High School

The Conscious Classroom Management Training delivered good ideas.

Jennifer Walters, St Peters Catholic College

The Conscious Classroom Management Training has good ideas. Its emphasis is on perception.

Michelle Schlyder, Trinity Grammar School

The Conscious Classroom Management Training has really inspiring techniques for helping me to make a change.

Lisa Blanche, Menai High School

The Big Ideas in the Conscious Classroom Management Training were very helpful to put things in place to create positive environment in the classroom. Thanks!


The Conscious Classroom Management Training’s content was relevant and confirmed some of my own beliefs.

Kieran Lowrie, St Peters Catholic College

I found you and your info very easy to understand and practical. There were moments in the Conscious Classroom Management Training when I could picture myself using the conversations and mindsets with specific students.

Jacqueline Hunt, Campbelltown Performing Arts High School

I’m very interested in attending the other course you run based on the information from the Conscious Classroom Management Training you gave us today. I felt the strategies appear practical to implement and I can see how I would implement them on who they would work.

Adrianna Allen, Campbelltown Performing Arts High School

The Conscious Classroom Management Training was an engaging and informative session that provided tools to help teachers connect with and support students. It gave me great ideas and also reinforced strategies I found I already use.

Elyssa May, Menai High School

The Conscious Classroom Management Training is absolutely mind-blowing. They need to teach this in uni or have it as part of an induction training. Rocky, thanks for this down-to-earth training. I recommend all teachers to this course.

Tania Mclaren, Swansea High School

I really liked your value system. That was the key. The same strategies with a different value system would not work.If you were interested in coming out to a school to run workshops with a group of beginning teachers (about 15 or so), I would be interested in talking with you about that.

John Wright, Castle Hill High School

Attendees from the following schools joined the Conscious Classroom Management Training in Sydney

Click here to find out more about the Conscious Classroom Management Training and register online
  • Kingsgrove High School
  • Mackellar Girls High School
  • Stellar Music School
  • Menai High School
  • Killarney Heights High School
  • Matraville Soldiers’ Settlement Public School
  • Abbotsleigh
  • St Peters Catholic College
  • Wollemi College
  • Cook School
  • Kirrawee High School
  • Campbelltown Performing Arts High School
  • Christian Brothers High School
  • Greenacre Public School
  • St Paul’s Catholic College
  • Trinity Grammar School
  • Kensington Public School
  • Covenant Christian School
  • Cherrybrook Technology High School
  • Castle Hill High School
  • Swansea High School
  • Kotara High
  • Flinders University
  • Morisset High School

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