This book saved my sanity! That may sound overly dramatic but it’s true. The second year I taught in my last district I had a class that challenged every teacher in the building. They had been told at some point that they were the “worst class to ever walk through the doors” unlike so many teenagers who want to prove adults wrong this group students wanted to prove the adults were right, seeming to go out of their way to behave completely unacceptably. They bragged about lunch or Saturday detentions. Parents seemed to just brush off reports that their student was talking in class, during instruction. I cried and screamed, gritted my teeth and nearly pulled my hair out at the roots that year from frustration.
At the end of the year a third grade position came available in our building. I went to the principal and expressed interest. He told me he’d be happy to consider me but I should think it over to be sure. That night we had our eighth grade graduation. I sat there watching the eighth graders recognized, seeing my seventh graders in the bleachers. I had had that class for two years already and if I stayed in my current position would be the only core teacher they would have for three years due to teacher turnover in the middle school. I didn’t want to leave that class, my kids. Then I saw the sixth graders in the bleachers and realized that if I left I would just be proving to them again that they were the worst class ever. This was not an acceptable choice! I would NOT give up on that class. I told the principal I was staying where I was.
That summer I checked out every book on classroom management I could get a hold of from the library, in all about 20 books. I read book after book, some ideas sparked my interest but nothing really caught me until I read 1-2-3- Magic for Teachers. I wasn’t very far in when I knew this was the classroom management program for me. The emphasis on no arguing and no yelling was exactly what I wanted, that was the teacher I wanted to be! I hate yelling, I feel out of control not the teacher I want to be. (Now this doesn’t mean I never yell, it still happens unfortunately but I do my best and I try to remember to apologize if I do and explain my frustration. I do this better with my son than in my classroom I think but I’m still working on it.
My book is filled with highlighted lines and notes in the margins. The simplicity of the program makes it easy for anyone to implement and the kids need little to no explanation. So many parents, day cares, and baby sitters use the 1-2-3 method that as soon as you begin counting in the classroom kids pick it up and know what’s happening. While it is simple to implement I would highly recommend reading it to get more information. If you are a teacher trying to find your classroom management technique, an education teacher, or a principal looking to help a struggling teacher this is a great book. Parents there is a 1-2-3 book for you as well. For anyone interested you can get more information on the 1-2-3 Magic website.