10 Reasons Why You Should Never, Ever Yell At Students

Never Yell At Students

Without spot-on classroom management, dealing with unruly students can be maddening.

It’s easy to lose your cool.

And when you do, when you yell, scold, and wag your finger, you’re often rewarded with immediate improvement.

A thorough dressing-down can stop misbehavior in its tracks. But the price is exorbitantly high.

Yelling is a costly mistake.

Here’s why:

1. Improvement is temporary.

Yelling only works in the moment. Like a playground bully, it’s used to intimidate students into compliance. The only reason why it works is because the teacher has an unfair size and/or authority advantage.

2. It doesn’t change behavior.

Behavior only changes when students want to behave better–which is the result of strict accountability combined with a teacher they like and trust. In the end, yelling causes more misbehavior, not less.

3. It weakens your influence.

Yelling will cause students to secretly dislike you, distrust you, and desire to disrupt your class. Let’s face it. Even one revengeful student can make your life miserable. You need your students on your side.

4. It replaces real accountability.

Teachers who yell tend to do so instead of following their classroom management plan. Students learn quickly that if they can endure their teacher’s outburst, they can be on their way without being held accountable.

5. It sabotages real accountability.

Teachers who lecture, yell, or scold while escorting students to time-out, drive a wedge through the teacher/student relationship, causing anger and resentment. So instead of sitting in time-out and reflecting on their mistake, your students will be seething at you.

6. It causes students to tune you out.

When you yell, you train your students to listen to you only when you raise your voice. In other words, they learn that unless you’re shouting, you must not really mean it. Before you know it, you’ll be giving directions like a carnival sideshow barker.

7. It’s stressful.

Yelling is a sure sign that you let misbehavior get under your skin. It’s an expression of frustration, of taking behavior personally, and of trying to get even with students. It’s also terribly stressful. It’s bad for your health. And it makes teaching a cheerless slog.

8. It’s difficult to defend.

Yelling at students is near the top of the list of parent complaints. And it’s difficult to defend. “I’m sorry, I just lost my cool” is about the best you can do. The fact is, no misbehavior, and no level of disrespect, warrants yelling at students.

9. It’s graceless.

Have you ever seen yourself on video losing your cool? Probably not, but one thing is for sure: it ain’t pretty. You might as well grab a megaphone and shout, “Hey everybody–students, fellow teachers, administration–I don’t have control of my class!”

10. It provides a poor model.

Students are more influenced by what you do than by what you say. When you yell, react emotionally to misbehavior, or otherwise lose your composure, you provide a poor model for your students for how to behave when things don’t go their way.

Instead Of Yelling…

No matter how frustrated you may get with your students, yelling should never be an option. Although it often works in the moment, the cost of gaining momentary control is much too high.

So instead of being that teacher, the one with the reputation for yelling and for “being mean,” why not be the one that every student wants as their teacher?

To start, create a classroom management plan that works–and stick with it. And then work on building influential relationships with students; the kind of personal leverage that causes them to want to behave.

If you haven’t done so already, please join us. It’s free! Click here and begin receiving classroom management articles like this one in your email box every week.

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89 Responses to 10 Reasons Why You Should Never, Ever Yell At Students

  1. Dawne January 9, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    Truthfully, in an ideal environment no one should ever yell, yelling is a verbal act of aggression. Aggression and/or violence is the product of an exhausted mind, and its a dead end in regards to productivity.

    Behaviorally speaking, first in this list should be: dont yell, because when you yell as an consequence for a behavior, you are in some cases actually reinforcing that behavior…when means you will continue to see that behavior you wish to stop.

    I agree organization is key to managment of any situation; if you have most everything orchestrated, you can address behavior before it happens.

  2. Charla Harrison January 17, 2011 at 8:18 am #

    It’s very sad, but you hear teachers yelling quite often in some of the the federally- funded preschools in the Deep South States. It’s probably that these preschool teachers are modeling their discipline and teaching styles on how they were raised. When some of these women were growing up, their mothers probably hollered and were really “strict” and harsh with their children. It seems that yelling, punishing, being strict, overbearing, and controlling is a family tradition for some of these preschool teachers. They run their classrooms like jail wardens where they march around glaring at the children and demanding submissive behavior. Some of these teachers “blow their tops” at the children and will yell and scold until the poor child has broken down in tears. It’s terribly wrong. Until the “powers-that-be” lay down the law and require that these preschool teachers learn and follow “positive guidance” strategies, then these jail warden types will continue to manage their classrooms like they’re the wardens managing a juvenile detention facility.

  3. jillian January 25, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    Unfortunately in the inner city many children do not interpret calm consequences as a sign that they have messed up. Certain cultures use emotion and loudness to convey anger and if the teacher doesn’t occasionally use these in serious situations, the students of that cultural parenting style do not take the teacher seriously.

    • Michael Linsin January 25, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

      Hi Jillian,

      I appreciate your comments. I really do. But I respectfully disagree. I think you’re on the wrong track. Yelling worsens behavior in the long run, and will never change behavior. I’ve been working in inner-city schools for twenty years, and I’m living proof you can have exceptional classroom management without raising your voice or resorting to other hurtful methods.


      • Lette March 18, 2016 at 2:35 am #

        We are having a problem with a grade 1 student not wanting to go to school – she has broken down in tears because she is yelling (not at her) but at the other children. One child (5 & 6 year olds) has said he does not want to go to school – he wants a yell free day! Time for this to be addressed with the principle.

      • Euni April 15, 2016 at 2:30 am #

        Which inner city schools have you worked in? I work at a Title I school, and someone once gave similar advice, that students only respond to “in-your-face”. I love the students at this school, I just have a hard time with losing my temper.

  4. Victoria February 5, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

    Hello Michael, I have found this article to be the most important one on the internet about education. It seems students have behavioral rules, but the same does not apply to teachers, many times being backed by the school’s principal.
    The many wise and important points you make should be made into a big poster and posted in the school grounds. Teachers that shout, yell, and bring their personal frustrations to the classrooms should be banned from teaching. I understand there has to be certain discipline, but unfortunately my daughter in 3rd grade has a teacher that thinks that constantly yelling at it’s students and demeaning them with horrible comments is called “teaching”, furthermore, he is in “gifted” class, so really at this point I make the principle accountable for putting this teacher there, he DOES NOT BELONG in any teaching atmosphere. Not only should teachers go through academic exams to get their licenses, but go through a seminar with someone like you, to make sure they belong teaching our children. Thanks again, I am planning to forward this article to many mothers! Keep the good work!

    • Michael Linsin February 5, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

      Hi Victoria,

      Thanks for your kind words. I’m sorry to hear about your daughter’s teacher.


  5. Courtney May 3, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    My 14 year old child has special needs and has a teacher who shakes her finger in her face when upset. The teacher denies this but it has been seen by other students. Is this acceptable?

    • Michael Linsin May 3, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

      Hi Courtney,

      No, I don’t believe there is any justifiable reason for a teacher to behave that way.


    • Luke June 20, 2016 at 12:50 am #

      In my opinion, a special needs child should get the same punishment as a normal student. My head teacher HUGGED a special needs child (Whom was slapping, punching, kicking, scratching, screaming at teachers because a student threw a ball at his head because he was annoying him.) he didnt get punished, he was praised. The child who threw the ball (My best freinds brother) faced an exclusion for throwing a ball at an annoying SEN child, wheras if it was the other way round, the normal child would be told to go away. Ableism much?

  6. Melissa May 5, 2011 at 7:01 am #

    My daughter is in 1st grade and her teacher allows the kids to spend a whole day (or days) struggling with a paper by themselves until they are weeks behind their classmates. They do not get to participate in other class activities because they are behind and get tested on topics they have never had the opportunity to be instructed in. And they are not allowed to bring the work home, because the teacher fears that parents or older siblings will do the work for them. She has a parent volunteer that will come in and work with some of the students on a regular basis, but she Yells at the children constantly. I am talking beet red in your face yelling. She will belittle the children in front of the entire classroom and then yell at them more when they are “guessing”. i would be guessing too, in hopes that my guess was right, in order to get her to stop screaming at me. I feel like I should confront her, as well as the teacher for allowing this to go on. i have tried talking to the principal, but haven’t had any luck.

    • Michael Linsin May 5, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

      Hi Melissa,

      I would absolutely have a discussion with the teacher about the parent volunteer. Behavior like you described, from a parent volunteer no less, should never be tolerated.


  7. Sam Rangel May 18, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    Great article Michael. After a while, kids get numb to when teacher goes into their yelling rants. When you yell in class, you are out of control. Students like being able to say that they made the teacher crazy.

  8. Ben Malloy July 23, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    I agree. It scares people to death, and it just makes things a lot worse than it does better, especially when they have some sort of learning dissability, and unfortunately, it becomes a dictatorship feeling to kids with dislexia.

  9. Ben Malloy July 23, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

    Jesus Christ the Lord the Son of God said Treat others the way that you want to be Treated in the Old and New Testament of the Holy Bible, and I do believe yelling is a sin yet thus commandment of the Bible, and I do not think that God likes it whenever teachers yell as a feedback, and I think it is a demon sign of Lucifer Satan the Devil himself our enemy of disworship.

  10. Ross Mannell August 10, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    Very early in my career when I was a casual teacher I can remember seeing two Year 4 primary school classes side by side. In one class the children sat quietly listening to their teacher while, in the other, the children were loud and unruly. My psychology training made me curious.

    On delving into the background of the children I found they had been in Year 3 without any noticeable problems. At the end of Year 3, they had been reorganised into Year 4 classes. From a distance I observed the class interactions.

    In the quiet class, the teacher spoke softly, never raising her voice. Children listened intently not wanting to miss what was being said. The dominant expression was the smile.

    In the other class, the teacher rarely lowered her voice. Much of the time the children had learned to ignore their teacher. The only consequence was yelling and that they were use to hearing. The dominant expression was the frown.

    Yelling at children is more an act of frustration than a decision to alter behaviour. It’s very nature is counterproductive and can leave the teacher with little respect.

    Your 10 reasons why it’s a costly mistake are valid. Looking back, I wonder how long the yelling teacher remained a teacher until realising or deciding to look for another career?

    Ross Mannell (teacher)

    P.S. My classes were full of smiles. 🙂

    • Michael Linsin August 10, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

      Hi Ross,

      Your story illustrates the truth very simply. Thanks for sharing!


  11. Elsa August 25, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    HI Michael,

    I’m glad I found this article, my son’s teacher yelled at him today and I felt bad but didn’t say anything at that moment. I think i was in shock at the fact that some teachers think it’s okay to yell at students. I think this article will help in understanding more about it since I will be addressing this with her. Thank you.

    • Michael Linsin August 25, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

      Your welcome, Elsa!

  12. Kalua September 24, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    Dear Michael,

    I was recently displaced from the valley in California and sought work closer to my home which happens to be an inner city school. I hadn’t encountered students with the degree of disrespect that I’ve experienced at this current school. I was a model teacher for my district because of my creativity and ability to relate to the students. What I have found in my current situation is that many of the students aren’t used to the expectations of an active teacher or the respect I give is suspect. I’ve gotten particularly major attitude and “talk back” from my female students and although I tried to give them positive cues they mocked me. So now in the 3rd week of school I feel daunted by my 2nd period class which have jumped on the bandwagon. I did lose it on Friday and I yelled which I’ve never done…ever…so that’s how I found your site. I agree with you on all of your points but you don’t cover what to do after you have made the mistake of yelling with an already difficult class. My question is how do I recover and continue forward. I’m upset that it happened but I also see that the kids are determined to continue their “skating” behavior and not doing work. Finally, I am African American and my class is predominately Latino. The one AA girl in the class approached me at lunch and told me that it was upsetting her that the kids were making racist statements about me and saying nasty things. I told her to refrain from telling me the negative and that on Mon. I would try to focus on the positive but it does hurt and I really feel out of my element. Please advise me and I will follow it. My colleagues are at a loss and the current teachers on the campus think that it is par for the course so why even bother?

    • Michael Linsin September 24, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

      Hi Kalua,

      I think it’s best to be honest with your students. If you regret raising your voice, then tell them. Just give it to them straight and move on–don’t go on and on about it or open things up for discussion. Be done with it and then get busy earning their respect by being the teacher you know you are and have proven to be.

      You’re right about being positive. Ignore all the negative stuff and the opinions of your colleagues. Treat your students with respect–no matter what they throw at you–hold them accountable for misbehavior, and get busy building those relationships. Although some are tougher than others, and many automatically, without knowing a thing about you, will look at you with resentment and disrespect, in the end kids are kids and you can win them over. But it takes time. You’ve only been at the school for three weeks.

      Stick to your guns. Stay consistent. This site was created for teachers like you, and there are tons of articles to help. Reading your comments, the first thing I thought of was the article How To Be A Classroom Management Natural. I think it’s a good place to start.

      You can do this, Kalua.


  13. Kalua October 2, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    Thank you, unfortunately I received this email today. I did speak to the class about the fact that I respect them and that I want them to respect me. I told them that I give them work because I want them to succeed in school and that I believe that every one of them has an amazing opportunity to work toward getting into a college. Then I gave them a group/pair share activity and as I walked around one of the boys said, “We like you Miss. We just ain’t used to people caring…you know?” It sounds made up but then the kids in that group all agreed. I have since discovered that this is supposed to be an intervention class, although I wasn’t informed of this on the schedule. Many of my students are ELL and I just received their I.E.P.’s. So I sat down with one of the female students and helped her to write her paper by asking questions and writing her answers. She said, “Thank you Miss.” It was a much better week and the fact that we had the weekend as a cooling period released some problems. They love the group/pair share and they also love to perform their findings. Thank you again for this site, it’s amazing and many of your other articles have really given me perspective.



    • Michael Linsin October 2, 2011 at 9:49 am #

      Keep up the good work, Kalua. Your students are lucky to have you.


    • Deidra August 6, 2016 at 9:49 am #

      Hi. Mrs. Kalua

      I just finish reading your article and it brought me to tears because what I read was those students needed love and care. It was already in you but you had to break through some invisible barriers that were in those student personal lives to bring them up to where you are at. I truly am touch by this story and pray that Grace and peace be multiplied to you forever. Heaven is rejoicing!!

  14. Lisa October 6, 2011 at 5:13 am #

    Dear Michael,

    My son is in the 2nd grade and a very distracted child, borderline ADD. When he’s drifting off and losing focus his teacher yells at him to get his attention and this is bothersome to me. My husband and I have found that when we have raised our voices to get him on track (before we realized this was a problem) it never worked, however now we come up to him, get on his level and bring him back to where he needs to be mentally, it’s much more effective. I expressed this to his teacher and she seemed to dismiss it. She too realizes he’s not drifting off on purpose, however she still yells. Because he’s in the gifted program at school, there is a higher level of responsibility for each student, although I believe yelling just doesn’t get the job done. Suggestions?


    • Michael Linsin October 6, 2011 at 7:07 am #

      Hi Lisa,

      If the teacher dismissed your concerns that she is yelling at your son, then I would take it up with the principal. There isn’t any justification for yelling at students. And it never gets the job done, never encourages students to grow and develop into better students.


  15. sarah October 22, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    Hi, I teach pre-k children and work with the school age after care. There are so many days that I feel overwelmed and stressed not by the children so much as from the other teachers around having a negative attitude and constant yelling problem. They are blaming children for the way they behave now in the classroom because of the loss of control. I believe its from the influence of the others working in the classroom. I realize they are my co-workers but I feel like there was a break in consistancy and now I am recieving the ” I don’t care” from the children now as well. The other thing is setting up an classroom management when the corporate office has my hands tied. Can you help me please before I lose all the respect from my kids, whom I dearly love?

    • Michael Linsin October 22, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

      Hi Sarah,

      It sounds like there are some things out of your control. I would focus only on what you can control–which is yourself and your reaction to your co-workers. It’s a decision whether you let them bother you or stress you out. As for the students, as long as you don’t go down that same negative path, there is no reason why your students will lose respect for you. To the contrary…because your students will see a clear difference between you and them, your influence and respect can only grow. Don’t consume yourself with others and their complaints and drama. Focus instead on being the best teacher you can be for your students. Ignore the rest.


  16. Elena November 10, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    Hi Michael
    Thank you for your article. I am a school nurse, and often offer a respite from a yelling teacher. Kids think they need to fib about an illness when all they need is a break. I often have 4 or 5 children from the same teacher, all with headaches. We talk and than laugh (sometimes eat something good) and back to the yelling teacher they go. We all need to be good examples of adult behaviour, or what are we doing in schools???. You hit it right on the head. Thanks. Elena

    • Michael Linsin November 10, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

      Thanks Elena! So glad you’re providing a loving example.


  17. Lisa November 20, 2011 at 2:03 am #

    I’m really grateful that you addressed the issue of what to do after you lose your cool. I feel very guilty because I have yelled at classes before. I’ve had other teachers say to me “They say you shouldn’t yell at your classes, but sometimes it’s necessary.” So I sort of went along with that, thinking “Well, they have more experience working with inner city kids than me, so they must know.” I’m grateful to have found this website, because I was wondering why I felt so awful about it if it was “necessary”.

  18. Vinecia Dlg January 3, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    My fricken teacher yelled at me for a project that I specifically wasn’t done with . I had the amount of time to present it towards the class but she is going to give me 2 zeros even if I did my outline! Its not fair. She ridiculed me in front of younger students and my whole class. Now I cant find the respect I once had for her. 🙁

  19. William February 22, 2012 at 10:12 am #


    I would love to hear some ideas about how to better manage my inner city choir class. Now, I try very hard not to yell at the students. Often, if I do yell, they just curse at me and create a bigger scene.

    However, there are many times when they themselves are yelling very loudly and pretending like I am not in the classroom. As a result, I have to raise my voice just to be heard. I’ve tried lots of different strategies:

    -writing names on the board
    -using a timer
    -writing referrals for detention
    -using green, yellow, and red cards to indicate behavior
    -re-arranging seating charts
    -using a low speaking voice
    -using “silent signals” such as group hand clapping or shushing sounds

    Each of things works once, maybe twice, but then the students return to life as normal and ignore me again.

    The only strategy so far which has worked is calling parents in the *middle* of class, but I can’t do this all the time because of the amount of class time it takes up. (Not to mention many, MANY of the students parents do not have working phones.)

    What can I do so that I can get consistently appropriate behavior when, as a music teacher, I have to sit at the piano all day?


    • Michael Linsin February 22, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

      Hi William,

      You must be very specific. Decide exactly what behavior you don’t want from them, show them what this behavior looks like, create a set of rules that matches this behavior, and then implement a set of consequences they don’t like. Initially, you will have to interrupt your classroom. You will have to prove to them that you really mean what you say. And it might be a challenge at first to stick it out. But it will work. And the better, more interesting your class is, and the more they look forward to coming to see you and singing with their friends…the more leverage, the more power, and the easier classroom management becomes.


  20. Jeanie May 15, 2012 at 7:36 am #

    A great big thank you for all of the information! I have had yet another morning with a difficult student, disruptive to entire class, disrespectiful, telling me “NO”, etc etc… He enjoys pushing all of the buttons. I am going to take the golfer’s attitude of machinelike. I also liked the mind set of ‘parents standing behind them’. finding this iste came at the perfect time. I was ready to quit!

    • Michael Linsin May 15, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

      Great, Jeanie!

  21. Arlette Picazo June 9, 2012 at 5:31 am #

    I was a teacher of primary school up to a year ago, I took the year off to figure out what I wanted to do next. It turns out I got a job offer doing primary, it’s a great opportunity, I get free tuition for my daughter, but I am freaking out because although I love teaching, and I work very hard at becoming the best teacher I can. I hate when kids are misbehaving, something inside me starts to boil and I sometimes loose it and not yell, but raise my voice and it makes me very unhappy. I don’t want to go back there again to being so frustrated with misbehavior that I loose it. Thanks for your site, I am so desperate because turning down this job would mean my daughter can’t go to this school, but I just have to get a handle on misbehavior.

    • Michael Linsin June 9, 2012 at 8:46 am #

      Hi Ariette,

      Frustration and anger is chiefly a result of not knowing what to do or how to handle misbehavior. Without the proper skills and strategies, your only recourse becomes raising your voice. The solution is right here on this website. Take your time going through the archive, take notes, and then get better. Classroom management must come first–it is good teaching. If you’re not good at it, then you’ll just be spinning your wheels, your hard work being for naught.


  22. seraphine October 22, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

    Those are really good points, michael. I am a senior in a high school. And i think as a student, teachers must be more understanding of the students’ conditions and circumstances before saying anything more to hurt their feelings and thus, losing interest to study in the class. Other than that, the students will feel hopeless and think that every teacher in the particular school hates him/her. Not to brag, but I was and am a good person and student. But due to unforeseen circumstances, i think they hate me, And I feel disheartened by how bad they’re treating me like I’m an inmate or something. I dont do drugs, sex or smoke. Nothing bad. But because of one bad decision I made, everyone seemed to turn away from me. And the bad decision was skipping school, because I couldn’t stand the way they treat students. It’s like they have the rights to do anything they want verbally just because they’re teachers and saying stuff like it’s for our own good. How can yellings, shriekings and piercing words in the class can do us any good? Their way of making students to listen to them is very irrelevant and does not apply in modern teaching. Yes, we students are not the same as the previous-era-hardcore-students where they can accept those things without thinking much because they thought it was ok. We are totally different from them as we understand more deeply what is appropriate and what is not. The scoldings fuel more of my desire to run away from them. I’m sorry if my comment hurts anyone, but I’m just speaking from my heart.

    • Michael Linsin October 23, 2012 at 6:47 am #

      Hi Seraphine,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings from a student’s perspective. I’m so sorry you’re disheartened. There are many wonderful teachers out there and it saddens me to hear of your experience. I appreciate your comments, and I think our readers will find them thought provoking.


  23. Stephanie October 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    Thank you so much for all of your helpful advice… This is my seventh year teaching and I have always struggled with classroom managment, but never knew how to fix it. I desperately stumbled upon your website the night before this school year and pored over the articles religiously. I still do. This has been the best school year of my life. I have always loved my content area, but had trouble getting the kids to be compliant. This year I have followed your simple rules to a T and am ready for plenty more years of teaching. I feel completely renewed and rejuvinated. Again, thank you.

    • Michael Linsin October 25, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

      Awesome, Stephanie! Thank you so much for sharing your success with me. It’s good to hear.


  24. Monte Moire November 11, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    Sadly I have slipped up and yelled at my students twice this year, most recently last week (Wednesday). We were working on some assignment and one student was being a wise apple. I gave him a warning, he ignored it. I pulled his card. He got smart and said pull another. “Heck pull all four of my cards. I don’t care!” I ignored those comments. Not even ten minutes later, this student and another student got into an argument, right while I was giving instruction.

    So now I have these two students going at it and some of the other students hyping up the two to fight. I tapped my bell (my signal for attention), the students plus the other students ignored that signal. I had maybe 3-4 students following the plan, hear the bell stop what u are doing and look at the teacher, the other students were hyping the fight and ignoring the bell. After waiting for a good 30-40 seconds, I had to yell. These kids had taken over control of the class. Instruction time was lost because of 10-15 students being disrespectful and not following the classroom plan.

    It is sad that teachers who get the praise and respect are often the ones who yell, are mean, or degrade students. While teachers like me, who rarely yell (four times in four years), get labeled weak and have zero classroom management skills.

    I used your method of re-doing a procedure, like entering a classroom, over when students did it incorrectly, I got wrote up for not using classroom time wisely. So I love your advice but I have to be very careful with how I use them. I love the book by the way. Awesome stuff.

    Take care,

    Monte Moire

    • Michael Linsin November 11, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

      Hi Monte,

      If you make a mistake and yell it’s best to get past it and put it in your rear-view mirror. As your Smart Classroom Management skills improve I promise you’ll never again be called weak. Quite the opposite. Glad you enjoyed the book. Keep learning from your mistakes (we all make them) and getting better and any concern over your ability to manage a classroom will be long forgotten.


  25. Mary November 13, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    Dear Michael,

    Our son’s first parents & teacher conference is tomorrow and he has express some concerns to me. He says his teachers are constantly yelling at the childrens, but what really made me more concerned was hearing him say one afternoon how he did not want to return to class. When I questioned him why? he explained how his teachers are always yelling and one of them bang really hard on the desk…that really throw me off. So how do I address this concerned of mine to the teacher without making it seem like an attack on them. Help- Mary

    • Michael Linsin November 13, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

      Hi Mary,

      Because of the nature of your concern, it’s best to speak to the school principal.


  26. Elena January 6, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    I am a student in a year-long certification course to become a teacher, and I have been devouring your articles. I want to offer you two things because I have loved them so much and I think you may find them interesting as well.

    The way that you write, the well of wisdom from which you draw, reminds me of the teacher that once taught her kids the profound lesson of what discrimination really is so that they understood why Dr. Martin Luthor King, Jr. died. In the PBS special that documented the story and her interview, she said that she believed that the nature of the activity was so delicate and profound that to be able to replicate it, you’d have to come from a certain place and be in control of how it went at every turn. It wasn’t that she believed that no one else could do it, but that not all teachers were prepared at that moment to do it so that no harm was inadvertently done. I knew intuitively what she meant when she said it, but after reading your articles, I feel like I understand more fully and directly what she meant and even how to become that kind of a teacher. If you haven’t seen the PBS special, you can see it here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/divided/etc/view.html .

    There is also a documentary called “Buck” that tells the story of the horseman who was the inspiration for Robert Redford’s movie “The Horse Whisperer”. It breaks my heart every time I see it because of the love and truth that he embodies and explains with such wisdom.

    Your kind of wisdom—the kind of rock solid confidence and faith in people and in how we all are really looking to respect and be respected, to laugh and enjoy learning, to be proud of ourselves, and to be part of a community—-reminds me of that teacher and of that horseman.

    Thank you.

    • Michael Linsin January 6, 2013 at 11:42 am #

      Hi Elena,

      Thank you so much for thinking of me. I appreciate your suggestions very much. I’ve read about the teacher you refer to and the remarkable way she imparted important life lessons, but haven’t seen the PBS special. I’ll check it out for sure–looking forward to it. As for Buck, I’ve seen it (twice) and loved it. So good, and you’re right, there is so much love, truth, and honesty in what he does–very inspirational.

      I think you’re going to be a great teacher.


  27. Carolyn February 16, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

    Hello Micheal,
    well ,last week the teacher decided to yell at my 13 yr old for being out of her seat and sitting on the floor, my daughter responded that she couldn’t see the over head that is way she was sitting on the floor she didn’t have her glasses, the teacher continued to yell at hear demanding her to go back to her seat. I am a level headed person and a realist, so I get to the bottom of with my daughter to discover that my daughter was out of line and did tell her to make sure to get permission first next time. I then sent the teacher an e-mail asking about the incident and she got very defensive.I started to fell like she was yelling at me for asking her, she then diverted the question to make more of a well your child is failing 3 other clases, and that she wasn’t trying to start anything between me and my child ,but that there were 2 instances where my child was not doing what she was supposed nor getting her work in on time.Unfortunaley for her I am well aware of what my child does good or bad.So my question was never answered nor an explantion given, now all the teachers have jumped on the wagon which are now telling me that my child is failing. So why till now am I hearing about her failing? I never received a conference request from anyone prior to this incident. I feel like this particular teacher has told the rest what she wanted them to hear and not the real reason I initially asked to speak with her about the yelling. How or what do I do? This isn’t the first time I discuss the yelling issues in this school. Please help me figure out why she is diverting the original question. It had a simple and acceptable answer,why couldn’t the teacher be an adult instead of playing the blame game.

    help Carolyn

    • Michael Linsin February 17, 2013 at 9:36 am #

      Hi Carolyn,

      It sounds like there is some miscommunication/misunderstanding. I think you should schedule an appointment and speak to the teacher directly.


  28. Jenny March 15, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    I worked as an inner-city teacher for over 10 years, and just recently made a change to ESL in another inner-city school. As a result of this change, I have found myself working in 9-10 classrooms each day. I’m SHOCKED at the disrespect the teachers show their students. Recently, I visited a teacher’s classroom that was screaming at a kindergartener for crying. She called him a “snot-nosed crybaby”. I want to do something to stop this sort of thing from happening, but it seems to be the culture of the school. Our administration is often seen yelling down the hallway at both students and teachers.
    While I may not be able to stop the yelling, I am resolved to be the kind and respectful teacher in my students’ lives. I want them to know that some teachers really do care about them.

    • Michael Linsin March 15, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

      Thanks for sharing, Jenny. Your new school needs you. You’re in perfect position to be a model for others.


  29. Michelle Stevenson April 26, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    I’m a British, Caucasian 32 year old female trainee teacher.

    I would like some classroom management techniques in case I decide to teach a class of 12 year old Thai children again. I’m still new and still learning and willing to try new things. I admit, being a new teacher I did raise my voice a bit but I soon learnt that what I was doing was making my students dislike me. I rectified it by engaging with the students more. I praised their work and any small thing they did. I showed them I did care and got the whole class involved in the open day. It did work to an extent and there were more smiles. I’m still learning. The thing is, this class were brought up from Kindergarten in the same school with no discipline, and were basically told to never respect a foreign teacher, which was also quoted from one of the Thai boys. This school had no discipline and the foreign teachers were never supported by the head. The class were generally rude, loud, immature and acted like 3 year olds which is typical of their culture. I want to be a better teacher and deal with these situations better. Please can I have some guidance and some tips.

    • Michael Linsin April 26, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

      Hi Michelle,

      I think you’ll find what you’re looking for in the archive (top, right). Begin in the Classroom Management Plan and Routines & Consequences categories and then go from there. There is a lot to read, but the strategies are simple to implement and are proven to work. Also, be sure and sign up to receive a new article in your email box every week.


  30. Sel August 6, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

    I am a special school teacher and I have always taught and raised my own child by the poem by Dorothy Law Nolt “Children learn what they live”. I generally have great relationships with my students and I enjoy teaching them. When it comes to discipline I find that it is just another area to use my teaching methods and not just a time when I have to control or subdue them. I am a teacher not a jailer – most kids need love, understanding, acceptance and recognition. They learn what they see – sometimes children see too much negative and bring it to school with them -then you see the teachers handing out the same negative messages – scolding, embarrassing them and yelling at them. So they may or may not get the desired result depending on the child but if they do it is only temporary. Where as if you teach and role model the skills that are socially acceptable the students can learn what is right and wrong. I saw a teacher scream at a student and throw his bag all over the floor in front of him the other day – the same teacher wanted me to discipline some students who she had fired up on an excursion and complained when I didn’t. She made the mess – she can fix it! I am not destroying my relationship with the students because she wants me to be the same as her. She went to the principal wanting me to discipline the way she does and he simply said “sometimes you need to raise your voice”. So intimidating students is excepted in the teaching profession – it is ok for a teacher to be a bully but if a student does it – watch out coz there will be someone bigger and supposedly wiser to put them into line. Remember teachers we are the role models!

    • Michael Linsin August 6, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

      Thanks for sharing your your insights, Sel!


  31. Justin September 15, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

    Today’s teenages need trainers, not teachers. Teaching is dead – replaced with surrogate parenting, social work, semi-profprofessional psychology, and doses of hoky folk wisdom. Instruction on academic subjects is secondary or tertiary to managing behavior. The system has failed. Burn it down and start again.

  32. Gorgeous Girl November 23, 2013 at 5:52 am #

    You need to witness how is it in my place of work. The screaming from teacher of 14 years and the Teacher assistants, terrible. The kids they screamed at are autistic kids. The funny part is when teacher talks to parents she is so sweet and really nice to them oh my if only parents knew how their kids are treated in that classroom I think they would not glorify this teacher no more because they believe so much on her and so she thinks the same way. She does not see her mistakes of reinforcing the aggression by screaming. She is screaming at kids to stop their behavior and the article I read says it may work for awhile because screaming subdued the person but the misbehavior will resurface again and would even become worse. She screamed at a student to stop screaming so the kid replied but why did you screamed at me?????

  33. Peter Ruel December 18, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

    So much of this approach depends on the age of the child that it’s important to make a distinction. Students at 12-15 years old are undergoing such vast changes in their brain structure that their frontal lobes are shrinking! This area is the part used for judgement, including the ability to discriminate between interpersonal cues, including facial expressions.
    Very often a frown or firmly worded direct request is perceived as “yelling” or “anger” when the teacher could be thinking of another matter or simply trying to give clear but vital directions.
    As a Middle school educator I try to put on a happy face and use humor and positive motivation however I take safety and respect for others (especially classmates) very seriously. When I see these issues taken cavalierly I do speak quite sharply and in a strong voice to indicate a “no tolerance” attitude. When approaches are balanced within the classroom students will come to judge for themselves who’s “mean” or not.
    The parents who immediately take the impressions of their adolescent at face value and as gospel truth and attack or second guess a good faith decision DO get a “defensive” reply, especially when Administrators make no effort to seek out the truth or circumstances to simply placate taxpayers.
    In summary, “yelling” is too subjective and simplistic. Articles that focus on positive (and realistic) behaviors are more helpful to people actually teaching in classrooms. Experts who preach from on high remind me of when I was a “perfect parent”…before I actually had children!

  34. jon bradford March 28, 2014 at 4:39 am #

    This is ridiculous. I am one of the strictest in my school and this is politically correct nonsense. I shout and would love to see who wrote such garbage teach in my school for a week. They would be eaten alive and realise what a load of unrealistic nonsense this is.

  35. pheonix March 31, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

    if only my teacher had seen this. not only does it reflect on the teacher but the student as well. my teacher yelled at me today and now I don’t even want to go to that class anymore. school sucks.

  36. Chris May 15, 2014 at 10:34 am #

    I love this. I am sad to admit that I am a yeller, and am recognizing the error of my ways and truly want to change. I fear, however, that it may be too late with my class.
    I just took over a 7th grade ELA class in April. This class had 3 teachers before me. The kids are good kids, yet for some reason, they are misbehaving in my class. I had a simple, strong, classroom management plan in place at first, but as time went on, I saw some things that weren’t working. I tried other things, but eventually I ended up doing everything you said NOT to do–yelling, scolding, lecturing, etc. all to no avail. Yesterday I expressed my frustration to them and I ended up getting choked up. While many seemed to feel bad, I wonder if they genuinely do. I regret letting them see me like that. My question is, how would I be able to rebuild with so little time left in the school year? I figured I should take this opportunity to go back to the basics of my plan and stick hard to them, but what else can I do?

    • Michael Linsin May 15, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

      Hi Chris,

      Yes, it’s an opportunity to start over—not just with this class, but in the way you manage behavior from this point on. I encourage you to spend time in our archive and perhaps checking out our books. In the meantime, here are a couple articles to get you started: How To Repair . . . Losing Control . . .


  37. MAQSOOD NABI SAHITO September 19, 2014 at 9:21 am #


  38. Jessica Doerfler September 23, 2014 at 6:39 am #

    Whenever Ms. Dieker yelled at her students it scared me.

  39. yana December 20, 2014 at 11:11 am #

    could anyone tell me what I have to do

    I was talking a final exam on industrial organizational psychology ( my first semester in this college

    the test just began
    I noticed 2 exactly the same questions
    so I said : professor I think here is some mistake I have 2 the same questions

    the professor run toward me , took my paper and screamed that I have zero on my test and I must get out from the class, he was not talking he was screaming to get out and he yelled that I ruined the exam

    I did nothing wrong
    never was late never missed class

    then he took me to deans office and I took exam in there
    I have no idea what did I do wrong and to whom I have to complain for such treatment
    im not young girl im 43 and trying to get into nursing program

    • Michael Linsin December 20, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

      Hi Yana,

      I would bring my concerns to the dean.


  40. latwon January 23, 2015 at 11:23 am #

    My daughter was yelled at to the point of tears by her 3rd grade teacher because she was having a hard time placing a folder into a shelf correctly. The teacher became frustrated, yelled at her then told her not to be crying about it. My daughter didn’t tell me of this incident. A parent of another student in her class called and asked me how my daughter was which lead her to tell me about the incident. I then asked my daughter about it and sadly the parent was telling the truth about the incident. I sent the teacher an email expressing my concerns and have yet to hear back from her or the vice principal(i called him) in reference to this. I am seriously contemplating reporting this sort of behavior to the school’s superintendent.

  41. Gaby August 18, 2015 at 11:35 am #

    But is it permitted by lausd that teacher could yell at the student or is it against the rules

  42. Megan August 28, 2015 at 6:48 pm #

    Dear Everyone,

    I think it’s best just to not upset students, and just reason with them, I used to be that student who actually was scared of my teacher of the wAy they explained things, now I’m actually a Princeabel at a high school near collage station, but I reason with the drama cause I was the one scared of it, when I unleashedd my cover once, metaphorically of corse, but I always thought of speaches and when I said it out loud I felt proud, so what I’m saying is that most students just wants an understanding teacher


  43. CJ December 5, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

    Hi Michael,

    I have found myself raising my voice more than I would like to recently and I hate myself for doing it. My problem is though, I work in an ESL setting and although my girls behave and understand English most of the boys in my class are below standard, misbehave and don’t understand English pretty much at all. I am used to getting down to the child’s level and speaking with them 1 on 1 however this doesn’t work with my students as they don’t have a clue what I am saying. I feel I need to raise my voice at them to show them that I am angry and what they have done is wrong. I also have another student, a boy who is in my class (even though he is the wrong age) who cannot complete any tasks without prompting to get on task every 30 seconds (I’m not exaggerating). I find myself raising my voice with him to as nothing else seems to get his attention/focus.
    Yr 1 Teacher.

  44. Eunice January 9, 2016 at 2:42 am #

    Im a 17 year old student and recently I was called at the admin office and the bad thing is that the admin officer yelled at me . She was so angry because of some random post of my classmates and I about our school . but the post was in our private group in facebook but one of our classmate printed it out and gave it to the admin officer that’s why she knew about the post . She shouted out loud and even the front office heard her voice . What can I do about this . What can I do against this disrespectful manner of hers?

    • Michael Linsin January 9, 2016 at 9:08 am #

      Hi Eunice,

      I think your best recourse is to ask to have a meeting with the administrative officer that includes your parents so perhaps it doesn’t happen again.


  45. Livetoteach January 20, 2016 at 1:40 pm #

    To the nurse Elena. Are you for real? You sit with kids pretending to have headaches while you laugh at the teacher they have just come from? In my school teachers, nurses, janitors ALL STAFF show solidarity with one another and this shows who is in charge. How are those kids ever going to respect their teacher if you share in their adolescent gossip? Those kids are looking for reasons to skip class and you -gullible – provide a ‘safe haven’. Easy for you sat in a room seeing the odd kid every now and then with headaches (I feel sorry for any real nurse working their ass off for how easy you have it). You try being in control of a class of 30 kids and being the ‘bad cop’ then comment. You should be ashamed.

  46. Daneen February 3, 2016 at 3:15 pm #

    My daughter’s grade 8 teacher says she yells because she is Italian and that’s her way.

  47. Dennis March 3, 2016 at 4:13 am #

    At times, I elevate my voice to what some would consider a yell. The students that I deal with have no respect for themselves much less from any authority figure. My students say that I am one of their favorite teachers because I make them mind and behave. I have one of the best classroom management classrooms in my school and have been nominated as teacher of the quarter twice. You do not have to yell constantly at the students but sometimes it is necessary to gain control of a disruptive situation.

  48. Zoe Zhang March 7, 2016 at 4:10 am #

    Hi Michael, it becomes clear after reading all this above that children shouldn’t be yell at. And from here on, I am not going to tolerant such behavior toward to my Children and other Children any more. I will talk to the teacher straight away if there is a concern and will refer this website to them and hope for a better place for us all.

  49. Terisa April 27, 2016 at 1:51 pm #

    I am going through this with a school principle and board of education seems to think this is o.k..

  50. Amy May 17, 2016 at 2:25 pm #

    Fantastic post. We have a few teacher that YELLLLL in our school and It’s mind blowing.. My poor fourth grader has a teacher that’s completely out of her mind she’s so referral happy too.. I really Understand it. My poor child has severe learning disability’s and she’s in mainstream classes and she’s been written up four times this year by this one teacher .. I can’t afford special schools that cost tons of money.. I do love all the comments on here..

  51. Shia May 18, 2016 at 3:26 pm #

    I have a daughter who has a teacher that yells at the class and tells them they are not good enough every day. She seems very depressed and she wants to quit that class, and the teacher gets worse every day. I don’t know what to do to help her.