Use the C.A.R. Approach EVERY Lesson!

I’m going to let you into a secret.  Do you know what frustrates the hell out of me when I observe lessons as part of our coaching programme?

– A lack of consistency in applying the rules, sanctions and rewards!

It’s just not fair, and it often leads to unnecessary stress, conflict and sanctions.

Have you noticed that?

Well here’s how I got around it when I was a Head of Department, and how you can easily use it in your classroom too:


Consistent Application of Rules (C.A.R.)


1) Display these 3 posters prominently:

  • Classroom Rules / Expectations (make sure they’re phrased in a positive way, ie tell them what to do, NOT what not to do!)
  • What will happen if I break the rules? (Sanctions)
  • What will happen if I work well? (Rewards)


2) How to respond if they break a rule

  1. When a learner breaks a rule, make eye contact and calmly ask “What rule have you broken?”
  2. Let them refer to the poster and tell you!
  3. Now calmly ask “What will happen if you do it again?”
  4. Let them refer to the sanctions poster & tell you.
  5. If they break the rule, simply apply the sanction.
  6. Repeat for further incidents of negative behaviour, applying the next sanction.


3) How to respond if they work well:

  1. Try to catch learners “getting it right”
  2. When a learner is working well, make eye contact, smile and give them some specific praise: “Well done for lining up quietly today, Ashley.”
  3. Now ask: “What will happen if you keep working well?”
  4. Let them refer to the rewards poster & tell you.
  5. If they keep working well, simply apply the reward.
  6. Repeat for further incidents of positive behaviour, applying the next reward.



Following this unbelievably simple technique will help you & your colleagues to apply sanctions and rewards consistently and in the correct order.

You’ll also notice how much the C.A.R. approach reduces stress levels and conflict for you (and your class!)

The fact is that by THEM telling you (rather than you telling them) what rule they’ve broken and what the consequence will be if they continue, they’re more likely to think about it and make a positive choice about their behaviour in the future.

That’s because when you use the C.A.R. approach you’re putting them in the driving seat, and forcing them to take more ownership & responsibility for their behaviour and the route they decide to take, so they’re much more likely to sustain it.

Does that sound good to you?


ACTION: Try the C.A.R. approach and let me know how it helped you!