Giving Directives That Students Will Follow

Teachers and administrators learn a four-step verbal skill that will help them take responsible control of K-12 students. This online course teaches them to end power struggles and gain cooperation from resistive students. This fast and effective, choice-based approach to behavior management is being used successfully by thousands of educators. Teachers learn to develop meaningful classroom management plans for maintaining a safe and orderly classroom that maximizes learning time.

For more information and to enroll, click:

Giving Directives That Students Will Follow


Check out what other teachers from your area and across the country are saying about this course.

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I enjoyed watching the video of the teacher using the directives with a group. He displayed a calm demeanor and was able to remain clear on his path with the opportunity for choice with the first boy and then looked at the other boy and gave him a different directive while still sticking with the script. I feel that many times I can become flustered when there is more than one student who is in need of choosing to correct their behavior and more than one is testing my authority. By having the script to stick with strictly it allowed for the teacher to effectively communicate and show his objective with the boys. I feel that the value set is very important and helpful to always remember in the classroom, as these are reasons for why we want students to make better choices at times. I think that colleagues might be open to accepting the value set, but it will be a challenge to have every teacher stick to the script verbatim as there are always some who feel they have a better way of doing things, they may become flustered and forget the script verbatim or they may feel that using the general ideas of the script will work as well. I think that the entire school would need to participate in a professional development course where they were all presented with the script and the importance behind sticking with it.(AL)


I liked the idea of sharing all the behaviors and expectations with the consequences so the students will realize there is a punishment for causing disruptions, coming in late and not being on task, etc. I spend a lot of time letting them know what they need to be doing but very seldom do I actually reprimand them and give them one of these consequences for their behavior. The 4-STEP plan is the best and something I will actually do and follow through on. I spend so much time giving orders and disciplining students and it just becomes more by the end of the year. I do feel the Safety, Order, and Rights value set will be very helpful and hopefully the students will get the idea that I mean business and they can expect the consequence for what they have chosen to do. I like the idea of them making the choice and hope it won’t take them long to realize it id their choice and it could end with a parent conference if they don’t get their behavior under control. I work with another new teacher to the middle school level (she had 5th grade for 10 years) and that was her toughest area. To discipline and the students didn’t care. I know she will be excited to hear about this process and will be excited to have something she can put into practice. I would love for our teachers to take this class and make this a school wide program. We practice the PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention…) and this is very helpful for all students because the rewards are for all, not just the ones that are always in trouble and are rewarded because they are doing something good. I just know if I use the Value set and it works very quickly from the onset at the beginning of a new school year then many of my teachers will want to know what I am doing. If it works for the majority of students we have then our school Administration and PTO would be willing to find a way to offer a discount for teachers to take the course. I was pleased to be able to take these classes now and be ready with the new students that will start in the fall. Great Timing! (AZ)


I found the 4-step verbal technique to be the most useful in this course… It treats students with respects, give them options before they make a choice, and also it deals with their behavior by listing the consequences. I definitely believe the safety, order, and rights value set will be helpful in my classroom. And I am certain my school and my department co-workers will accept this value set. (CA)

I liked the directives on how to stop behavior in four steps. The idea of stick to the verbage is good too. I have really behaved students, but there is always that one that will come along that I could use this technique on. Our school already has something similar in place, so accepting it won’t be hard. (CA)

I think the 4-step verbal technique is the most valuable tool for me. I can implement it the very first day of school. I also thought going through the process of setting up your first day and how you will go over rules, routines and procedures was very useful to me. I have an outline to work from as I prepare for the first days of school. I believe the Safety, Order and Rights value set will be extremely helpful in my classroom. Our school is in the second year of PBIS: Positive Behavior Incentive System. We have set up our rules with specific vocabulary that is used throughout our school(Be Responsible, Be Organized, Always Be Safe, Be Respectful) from pre-k-6th grade. Although my principal will probably no let me use these words in leu of PBIS wording, it does encompass Safety, Order, and Rights. (CA)


I found the 4 steps to giving directions extremely helpful. I think the idea that I found most valuable was the fact that I should not use the word ‘I’ in my statements in order to keep the conversation from becoming personal because it really is about helping students become more responsible for their own behavior. I think the Safety, Order and Rights value set will be helpful in my classroom for a number of reasons. This set of values encompasses the major beliefs of education that many people can support. It is easy to use and understand. It is broad enough to encompass all the behaviors that students need to display in order to benefit from their education. For these reasons, I believe other educational professionals could accept this value set and benefit from using it. One point made earlier in the course in regards to having many people using this structured approach was a good one. If more than one person is using this approach then more students are learning and unwanted behaviors are not the focus of our day. (CO)

I like the four rules that correspond with the Safety, Order, and Rights. They’re easy to remember, easy to post in my classroom, and cover the bases of what I expect in my classroom. I am excited to introduce them in the fall. I think the Safety, Order, and Rights value set will be helpful. I am looking forward to explaining them to students. It is important to me that all students feel safe and included in my classroom, and I think it will help students to know that I am holding students accountable to these values. I hope my school and department will accept the value set. We have a very loose administration and discipline is left to individual teachers, so I will be on my own, but I think this set of values and rules will help me. (CO)

I found many of the ideas in this course helpful. In particular I liked the 4 step approach and the specific wording. In my behavioral training we use the term precision command but that is more general. I like that the 4 step approach lays out exact wording and goes step by step. It also anticipates student responses. I also really like the idea of having a classroom management plan to prepare for possible behaviors and my response to those behaviors. We use that technique in some of our self-contained programs but I think that would be very helpful for general education teachers as well. I think the Safety, Order and Rights value set would be helpful in my practice. It is a succinct way to look at behavior management. I’m not sure how our staff would respond to this value set but I think it would be positively. It is something I will model as I go into the different classrooms. (CO)


Before taking this course, I had used the language “would you or could you please, and thank you” in giving directives to noncompliant students. Somewhat I successfully delivered my messages by doing so, but I noticed that the most mischievous students still refused to follow my directives even I used the “polite language”-would you please and thank you. Now after taking this course, I realized the polite language which I thought it was should be avoided in giving directions that students would follow because it becomes a request when I say would you please, and I shouldn’t say thank you to those who resist to redirect their inappropriate behaviors. Therefore, learning how to use the exact words in the 4 step verbal technique helps me give directives in an effective way, at the same time it helps reserve my authority as a teacher since the technique will help avoid power struggle and deescalate the tension in an incident. This technique is designed to by used by teachers who can accordingly create a safe, orderly, and free learning environment for students. Hence, there is no doubt that my school and department colleagues would like to learn and use the verbal technique, and no doubt that they would like to use the value set as the goal to create an ultimate learning environment for every student. (FL) 

I believe the most valuable idea of this course is the scripted plan to address students who are not following directives. It really helped me to have a consistent plan to use, especially so as to not fall into explaining why which most middle school age students repetitively ask. I believe the Safety, Order and Rights value set will continue to be helpful to me at my school. I am generally open to trying new ideas. Those I work with who feel the same about trying new ideas would likely accept the value set as well. I believe those who feel they are already effective in how they discipline, whether they are or aren’t, would not be as accepting of the value set. (FL)

I liked that I had to make a classroom management plan. This allowed me to really focus on what was important in my class, how I wanted to convey my expectations to students, what I wanted them to achieve and how they were to achieve it. I believe the safety, order, and rights value set will not only be helpful to me, but my school as well. It will benefit all!!! (FL)

The ideas I found the most valuable were the four rules: Be Prompt Be Prepared Be Polite Be Productive Yes, I believe the Safety, Order and Rights values set will be helpful in my classroom. It gives important reasons for why we have the rules that we have and keeps it short, sweet, and to the point. I believe my school and colleagues will be accepting of the value set. We all do this already but not in this format. It would be nice to have the consistency of terminology school wide. (FL)

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