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3 Ways to Get Your Students to Follow Directions the First Time, Every Time

teacher pulling hair out and screaming

New teachers and experienced teachers alike sometimes struggle to get their students to follow directions. It happens to the best of us! Sometimes they really aren't paying close attention. But more often than not, the problem lies with YOU. Gasp! Did I just blame the teacher? Umm, yeah. But the truth is, our own behavior is often the real reason our students tune us out. The good news? The problem is easy to fix.

So why don't students follow directions?

In this blog post, we'll look at the 3 main reasons students don't follow directions and what you can do about each one:

You start talking before they are listening.

It's SO hard to not do this. When we have important information to relay, our first instinct is to get it out there. So you try to get their attention with whatever signal you like to use. And maybe some of your students look at you. Maybe they aren't even all talking. But maybe they just aren't ready to listen yet. Are some of the kids still moving around? Is Stevie still writing? Is Sally looking for a pencil? This is the main reason students don't follow directions. They just aren't focused on what you're saying.

You will get much better results if you practice a little wait time