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You Yell You Lose

You spend all day answering emails from parents, filling out pointless data from administrators, and pulling extra unpaid duties to keep the school running.

Then, it happens. A student tries you. Under the pressure of everything that needs to get done, nobody is paying attention. The whole class doesn’t care about the lesson or any of the hard work you’ve put in to give them a good experience.

You yell… and it’s over.

What happens when you yell?

I have met some teachers who use yelling exclusively as their classroom management strategy. They stand by the effectiveness of it. The argument is that it refocuses students and brings the classroom to immediate attention and obedience.

Is that assessment incorrect? If you think about it in the most basic sense, yelling can certainly get attention. It can also be a strong factor in compliance. However, that’s not the full story.

What you lose when you yell

This list is not a criticism of any teacher who has ever yelled in a classroom. There are millions of reasons for our frustration to boil over. But it is important to know exactly what you are losing when you yell.

This list is not exhaustive, but it is worth considering when contemplating your classroom management.

  • You lose students being on your side. There is nothing more helpful to classroom management than your students wanting YOU to have a smooth and relaxing day.
  • You lose your professionality. Students will not believe you are capable of being a great teacher if you cannot find peaceful strategies to engage them.
  • You lose their best effort. Students are afraid to try when the consequence may be yelling. You’ll never see their full potential.
  • You lose your career satisfaction. The tension and stress of yelling will create a poor working environment for you. You will never get the full experience of settling in, relaxing, and enjoying your students.
  • You lose student safety. The first time you raise your voice and yell, students will begin to feel unsafe. Traumas and dark family moments boil to the surface. You will miss out on the opportunity to be a trusted adult.

I know how hard it can be to keep our composure in the most difficult teaching days. I have respect for all teachers and hope the best for everyone. But remember, your first yell has consequences that will last for an entire school year.

Need more reason to shift your classroom management strategy? You need to pick up a copy of The Perfect Ten!

Read next: “Rule Your Class Like Hitler,” & Other Bad Teaching Advice

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