19 Hacks for Encouraging Learners Not to Make Inappropriate Comments to Teachers

Are you looking for hacks to encourage students not to make inappropriate comments to teachers? If so, keep reading.

1. Refrain from physical contact with a student who is likely to become orally abusive (e.g., a pat on the back may cause the student to argue, threaten, call names, curse, etc.).

2. Provide an appropriate physical distance from the student when interacting with them to avoid stimulating the student to make unacceptable remarks.

3. Utilize language that is pleasant and calming when speaking with the student to avoid stimulating the student to make unacceptable remarks.

4. Do not criticize. On occasions where correcting the student, be honest yet compassionate. Never cause the student to feel negatively about themselves.

5. Provide instructions in a compassionate rather than a menacing manner (e.g., “Please finish your math paper before going to recess.” rather than, “You had better finish your math paper or else!”).

6. Talk objectively at all times.

7. Be firm, fair, and consistent with expectations and consequences of behavior.

8. Teach the student appropriate ways to express displeasure, anger, frustration, etc.

9. Get the student to put themselves in someone else’s place (e.g., “How would you feel if someone called you dumb or stupid?”).

10. Make sure that your remarks to the student are in the form of constructive criticism rather than criticism that can be perceived as personal, menacing, etc., (e.g., instead of saying, “You always make the same mistake.” say, “A better way to do that might be … “).

11. Praise those students in the classroom who connect appropriately with teachers.

12. Teach the student to think before acting (e.g., they should ask themselves, “What is happening?” “What am I doing?” “What should I do?” “What will be best for me?”).

13. Let the student voice their opinion in a situation to avoid becoming angry or upset.

14. Talk with the student to explain(a) what the student is doing wrong (e.g., arguing, menacing, calling names, etc.) and (b) what the student should be doing (e.g., following the rules, staying on-task, paying attention to their duties, etc.).

15. Connect with parents (e.g., notes home, phone calls, etc.) to disseminate information about the student’s progress. The parents may reinforce the student at home for communicating appropriately at school.

16. Consider using a classroom management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

17. Consider using an adaptive behavior management app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

18. Consider using Alexa to help the student learn to behave appropriately. Click here to read an article that we wrote on the subject.

19. Click here to learn about six bonus strategies for challenging problem behaviors and mastering classroom management.

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