We Don’t Wait, We Narrate!

A short time ago, I had the privilege of supporting a Real Time Teacher Coach (RTTC) as she was conducting a Baseline Observation in a middle-school classroom for an upcoming RTTC session. During our time in the classroom, when pressing for 100% of her scholars’ attention, I remember hearing the teacher say, “We have almost everyone. I am waiting for two more scholars to give me their attention.” Shortly afterward, when unpacking with the teacher why she was waiting for the last two scholars, she explained that it just made sense to give them a chance to catch up with their peers and to attend to the next set of directions.

Through RTTC, the teacher had experienced a renewed commitment to ensuring that each scholar was academically engaged in the lesson. She was acting on a conviction that since 100% of scholars are capable of high levels of achievement, as the teacher she needed to ensure that 100% of the scholars were actively participating in the lesson. However, like this teacher, some who are developing their prowess with the No-Nonsense Nurturer® (NNN) Four-Step Model report that they struggle with getting the final two or three scholars with them before pressing forward with the learning experience. While it is a common phenomenon when shifting a classroom culture, choosing to wait for the last scholars often has less to do with the scholars and more often manifests a teacher’s struggle to identify what best next steps to use to get the final scholars “with them.”

When messaging to scholars that a teacher will “wait” for the last few scholars to follow their Precise Directions, they inadvertently convey lack of urgency. Waiting creates a classroom where it is acceptable to shave minutes off learning activities that ultimately short-changes scholars. Instead, teachers who are developing a NNN classroom culture sweat every minute; instead of waiting, NNN teachers use Positive Narration and Classwide Incentives quickly and efficiently to pull the class to 100% participation.

Instead of waiting, NNN teachers Positively Narrate while circulating the classroom simultaneously using their Classwide Incentive system to “get 100% of the scholars with them.”

When creating a classroom culture of high expectations for all scholars, teachers use the NNN 4-Steps in order to gain greater scholar effort, more time spent on task, and ultimately higher achievement. NNN teachers demonstrate an active commitment to ensuring that all scholars are active learners; from bell-to-bell they roam the classroom Positively Narrating, prodding, supporting, incentivizing, and inspiring their scholars to greatness.


Kelleher, Joanne. “Create a Sense of Urgency to Spark Learning.” Phi Delta Kappan 97 (October 2015): 21-26.

Murphy, J.F.; Hallinger, P.; Weil, M.; and Miltman, A. “Academic Press: Translating High Expectations into School Policies and Classroom Practices.” Educational Leadership (1982), 22-26.

by Dr. Michael Prada

Michael is an exceptional trainer who can be counted upon to be a dynamic change agent in his work with teachers, coaches, and administrators.

Additionally, check out CT3 Education programs such as No-Nonsense Nurturer, Real Time Teacher Coaching, and Real Time Leadership Coaching to find out more about Professional Development for Teachers and Leaders, classroom management strategies, and building relationships with students and their families, and properly addressing important issues in the classroom and school.
Category: Education, Teaching