Question Detail

I would like advice on a behavioral scenario between two students. When students are getting into a screaming match in class, what is an effective response from the teacher?

Jan 30, 2015 9:34am

  • Behavior


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    • Feb 2, 2015 5:04am

      This happened to me once and I made a game out of it. I yelled out and said, "the first one who stops screaming is the winner. Believe me it worked. Next, I told them both go to the board as fast as you can and write down why the two of you are screaming. The one who writes the most will receive an award. The writing must be neat and include the correct punctuation. On your mark, get set, and Go!. Then I pulled them both together to show them a better way to handle the problem. Don't have them to explain to you what happened because they did that on the board. Hope you find this helpful.

      • Mar 15, 2016 11:46am

        It depends on the age/grade of the students, if this is recurring, and how long you have known the students (your relationship and trust you have built).

        Priority 1- safety. Will this escalate? Separate the students.

        Priority 2- minimize the impact on the other learners. You two have a problem; the rest of us are here to learn.

        Screaming is not talking. If students cannot talk, then they need to express their thoughts in a different mode. Writing is good. Drawing is good. Building is good.

        I like Cassandra's idea, but not at the board. It may reinforce negative attention for some students. It sends the message that screaming gets the action going and derails a lesson.

        I have students list facts (evidence). Then flip the paper over and list the facts from the other's point of view. Rules: no derogatory language. Scientific language.

        Students feel ashamed when they have been screaming. They are socially embarrassed, even though they may try to pretend they are not. I would talk to each student privately that you understand that this is a problem for them and for the class and you will be actively helping them solve it.

        If it is on-going, a behaviour specialist/parent meeting may be in order.