How To Respond To A Disrespectful Student

Smaert Classroom Management: How To Respond To A Disrespectful StudentWith over 350,000 page views, How To Handle Disrespectful Students is one of the most popular articles on this website—and for good reason.

A disrespectful student can get under a teacher’s skin like almost nothing else.

When confronted with disrespect, it’s easy to take it personally. This is a normal reaction from a passionate teacher.

But it’s a colossal mistake.

Because when you take behavior personally, you’re likely to react in ways that make managing that student’s behavior much more difficult.

Your leverage and influence will then plummet right along with his or her behavior.

But if you can refrain from doing what comes naturally, then you can hold the disrespectful student accountable and still retain your ability to influence future behavior.

Here’s how:

Lose the battle.

When a student is disrespectful to you, you have to be willing to lose the battle. In other words, you must resist the urge to admonish, scold, lecture, get even, or otherwise attempt to put the student in their place.

Don’t take it personally.

Disrespect comes from a place inside the student that has nothing to do with you. So don’t take it personally. Your job is to help the student see the error of his or her ways so that it doesn’t happen again.

Stay calm.

Take a deep breath to quell any angry feelings rising up inside you. Remind yourself that you’ll be much more effective, and the situation will go much smoother, if you maintain emotional control.

Pause.

In the immediate moments following the incident, don’t say a word. Simply maintain eye contact with the student and wait. Let their words hang in the air for several seconds, leaving no doubt about what was said, how it was said, and who is responsible for saying it.

End it.

It’s important not to escalate the situation, but to end it as quickly as possible. Your pause and unwillingness to react is unnerving and will leave the student devoid of anything to say. As soon as you break eye contact and walk away, the incident is over.

Move on.

Refrain from enforcing a consequence—for now. Just continue on with whatever you were doing. Leave the student standing there, unsure of what to do. It’s always best to get back to normalcy as quickly as possible for the sake of the rest of your students.

Do nothing.

Proceed with your day as if nothing happened. Don’t approach the student. Don’t try to talk to him or her about what happened. Don’t do anything until you’re confident that the student has mentally moved on from the situation.

Enforce.

As soon as the student is calm and the incident is forgotten, approach and deliver your consequence. I recommend bypassing the warning step of your classroom management plan and sending the student directly to time-out. Say simply, “You broke rule number four. Grab your work and go to time-out.”

Notify.

For overt disrespect, the parents should be notified. A letter home is most effective. It also adds a layer of accountability that lasts beyond the day of the incident. Near the end of the school day, hand the student your letter and walk away–without adding a lecture. Let accountability speak for you.

Note: For more information on this topic, including a sample letter home, see the article, Why A Letter Home Is An Effective Consequence.

Let remorse set in.

When you handle disrespect this way, without lecturing or scolding or taking it personally, even the most obstinate student will be affected by his or her mistake. So much so that you’re likely to get a sincere and unforced apology.

A Lesson Learned

By following these steps, you can turn a student’s disrespect into a memorable lesson. The steps work because they heap the entire burden of responsibility on the student’s shoulders, with none of it clinging to you.

He or she can’t blame you or be resentful of you—thus undermining the lesson—because you didn’t try to get even. You didn’t have to win the battle. You didn’t yell, threaten, scold, or lower yourself to the same level of disrespect.

You kept your cool and allowed accountability to work, which is the right thing to do for both you and the student.

Thanks for reading.

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60 Responses to How To Respond To A Disrespectful Student

  1. Stephanie Cassin February 19, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

    Thank you Michael, every post you make is so helpful to establishing good practice early in my career. And not reacting emotionally is a great way to avoid burn-out too. Regards Stephanie

    • Michael Linsin February 19, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

      Thanks Stephanie!

  2. Chris Bowen February 22, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    Excellent article. Well written, too. It is so true that blowing up may give the student the reaction they may have been trying to get from you. In that case, you will have lost the battle. And, because all eyes are on you, it’s a battle you will start to lose with all the kids. It reminds me of a time my own daughter threw a tantrum in the store. I just stood there and watched her wriggle on the floor and scream. After a moment, I turned away and started shopping again. I was amazed at how quickly the tantrum ended when she wasn’t getting the response she wanted. It can sometimes be the same with disrespect in the class.

    Chris Bowen
    Author of “Our Kids: Building Relationships in the Classroom”

    • Michael Linsin February 22, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

      Hi Chris,

      You’re right. And great illustration with your daughter. Thanks for sharing.

      Michael

  3. Shawn April 9, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    Hi, Michael. I’ve emailed before and greatly appreciate all your advice and thinking. I have a question regarding handling a disrespectful student. I have one student who, at times, will challenge when he is held accountable for behaviors and has a time-out as a consequence. He might question, challenge, argue. At that point, I know what not to do (from your posts). I know not to argue back or explain, etc. But do I just stand, waiting for the student to move to their time-out? Do I use the broken record technique? I mean, I have initiated a time-out and the student is arguing with me about the nature of the consequence. What do I do to get them there? Is there additional consequences for disrespect (to be given at a later time)? Thanks!

    Shawn

    • Michael Linsin April 9, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

      Hi Shawn,

      You should turn and walk away. Better yet, whenever you send students to time-out, let them walk themselves there. Your only responsibility is to inform them that they must go. If they refuse, then enforce the next consequence–which should be a letter home. If you’re having repeated problems with this student, then read the article series, How To Turn Around Difficult Students.

      Michael

  4. bern January 1, 2012 at 12:25 am #

    What would suggest if a group of students within a class is trying to be disrespectful to the teacher by calling out an offensive word but not owning up who said it? (older students)

    • Michael Linsin January 1, 2012 at 8:34 am #

      Hi Bern,

      If you don’t know who said it, then it isn’t a good idea to confront the entire group of students. Peer pressure likely would make it difficult to get an honest answer out of them (assuming by older students you mean middle or high school). It’s best to pull students aside separately and privately to get to the bottom of it.

      Michael

  5. Ben February 13, 2012 at 1:07 am #

    Great advice, but I have a lot of problems, as an English teacher at a junior high school and high school in Japan. First, it is illegal to send students out of the class, or make them stand up,which I agree to in principle. But if I call the misbehaving students for after school time-out, counseling, (which I am willing to supervise), they will just escape and not show up. It’s a joke to them.

    So what can I do? I can take up to 20% off of their score, and I do that, following a warning, one point at a time. But most of the bad ones don’t care at all about their score. There are no fails at our school and they will get moved up the grades and even into high-school whatever their score is. They have nothing to fear.

    I have been told by the leadership that it is irregular for any subject teacher to contact their parents, and that only the homeroom teacher should contact them so I can’t send a letter home, or make a phone call, (although I have one ahead and done it anyway.,before – although I had better stop because I don’t want to get in trouble with the leadership).

    So that just leaves the homeroom teacher as a third party. And there is no system that the homeroom teacher should follow. If they want to help they may help, but if they don’t they won’t. They may even doubt me instead of the misbehaving students. Even the head-teacher has said it is better not to rely on them, or anyone else.

    But there are no penalties at my disposal, I don’t know what is best.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Michael Linsin February 13, 2012 at 7:54 am #

      Hi Ben,

      You didn’t mention in-class time-out, which is what I recommend. Time-out is the most effective consequence IF your students enjoy being in your class. However, it sounds like they don’t respect you. One of the core principles of this website is to create a classroom your students love to be part of (leverage), and then separate them from it if they misbehave (time-out). This combination works regardless of where you teach or what your situation is.

      Michael

  6. Ben February 16, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    Hi,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Sorry I should give more information. I teach classes of 40 students twice a week.
    Most of the students are well behaved. There are a few students who cause all kinds of trouble: getting up out of their seat, throwing paper airplanes at me, and talking freely.
    If I say to these bad boys move to time-out, they won’t move. What else can I do? I am not allowed to call the parents and the homeroom teacher may or may not help me.
    Thanks

    Ben

    • Michael Linsin February 16, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

      Hi Ben,

      Not being able to observe you and not knowing what you’re currently doing for classroom management make it difficult for me to address your situation specifically. Do you have a classroom management plan? Have you been a regular reader of the website? Have you worked your way through the archive? You must have a solid understanding of smart classroom management principles before my answers would make any sense or be any help to you. The answer I gave to your first question (above) is the same one I’d give to this question. But again, it might not make much sense to you unless you spend some time in the archive.

      Michael

  7. Brenda February 18, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    This was a great article. Unfortunately, I read this a day too late. 🙁 I am a high school geometry teacher and I blew up at a disrespectful student and in turn, the whole class, this past Friday and am still feeling terrible. I felt terrible the whole time the blow up was going on in class, but I just couldn’t hold the anger and frustration in. I felt disrespected and attacked and I attacked back. Afterwards I sat at my desk and could feel the tears welling up partly because I was hurt and partly because I knew how badly I had handled the situation. My question is what do I do now? How do I proceed with the class? Do I ignore it like it never happened and resume business as usual? Do I address my behavior in some way and try to make sense of it for them? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. –brenda

    • Michael Linsin February 18, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

      Hi Brenda,

      Don’t be too hard on yourself. It happens to the best of us. As for what to do about it, you can either move on as if nothing happened, resolving to never let your students get under your skin again, or you can apologize. If it’s wearing on you, then make a short and simple but heartfelt apology and then get on with it. Don’t spend much time on it or try to make sense of it for them. A simple apology is all that’s needed. Kids understand. And I think they’ll respect you all the more for it.

      Michael

  8. kathy February 21, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    i teach 7th grade and today in class, i made a mistake and one of the students yell out bendejas in spanish, which led to an uproar laughter. i am first embarrassed and so upset at the kid. i dont know how to discipline him and how do i save face following day?

    • Michael Linsin February 22, 2012 at 7:58 am #

      Hi Kathy,

      Okay, I think I understand what the student said/meant. As far as saving face, you didn’t do anything wrong. There is nothing to be embarrassed about. They’re kids. Let it go in one ear and out the other. It was, however, extremely disrespectful. Presuming you have a classroom management plan, I would jump to your third consequence and send a letter home to parents/guardian. To read more about this, look through the Rules & Consequences category of the archive. And don’t give the incident another thought. It’s not worth it.

      Michael

  9. Vigdis a.k.a Viggi February 27, 2012 at 3:05 am #

    In my first weeks as a teacher, I think I made every mistake possible in the class-room. The kids were misbehaving and disrespectful, and I was quite disappointed and provoked by it all. After a couple of weeks I was recommended, by a parent, to CARRY one of the pupils out if he didn’t listen, and I thought: “What? Carry him? I’m a teacher or I’m a bouncer?” Truth be told I am a short little woman, but that is beside the point.

    I sat down and rebooted my brain. This class was not “mine”. I was hired in as 2nd teacher because of the high level of misbehavior. The head teacher was able to keep them relatively calm, but others had low impact on the discipline in the class-room. They were loud teacher with frustration written all over their faces, and I joined in. Therefore, I promised my self two things: I don’t ever want to raise my voice, and I don’t carry around on kids (what an insane idea).

    Every lesson after this, which I had responsibility for; I started out with telling my class the rules and consequences for my sessions. I told the head teacher that it was important that I was able to communicate with parents if necessary, and of course I told the parent that recommended me to carry out her child that it was not an option. Since, it’s been a steady and not so bumpy ride, but it all comes down to me being able to stick to my plan. I allow my self to fail now and then, and not be to beaten up about it. Bottom line, I learn from my mistakes.

    I really like your site, and I will recommend it to fellow teachers and parents(!).

    • Michael Linsin February 27, 2012 at 7:48 am #

      Thanks Viggi!

  10. Vigdis a.k.a Viggi March 4, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    You are very welcome. Forgot to mention that I am Norwegian, and that would explain poor grammar 😉

  11. latha April 15, 2012 at 4:04 am #

    Keeping calm and being composed by not taking the comment personally at that moment is difficult, but it is a very valuable suggestion. It not only diffuses the tension created but also helps the class not being hijacked. Thanks for all the tips.

    • Michael Linsin April 15, 2012 at 7:25 am #

      You’re welcome, Latha!

  12. Christoph April 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    I love this, though I can anticipate the difficulty in breaking the habit of getting even via scolding, sarcasm, raising my voice, etc. What do you suggest if you have ‘blown it’ already? I have a girl who is wonderfully smart and sweet, at least she started out that way. She’s a sixth grader and, typical of middle school years, she is constantly undergoing metamorphosis. She has taken on a condescending sense of entitlement lately and loves to get me riled up by placing blame on me, which I almost always immediately take personally. Every bad thing that happens only happens because I’m not doing what she believes I should be doing. And I suppose because she was so smart and mature and sweet initially that I take these assertions to heart. But twice now I have semi blown up at her. Not necessarily yelling, but a stern, firm voice, talking to which attempts to assert my superiority and put her in her place. In fact, I just did this today. I mean, she was in the wrong, but I handled it wrongly and ineffectively. Is there any hope of restoration in the teacher-student dynamic and relationship we’ve built?

    • Michael Linsin April 18, 2012 at 6:45 am #

      Hi Christoph,

      You can definitely restore your relationship. The best thing you can do for the next few weeks is resolve not to take her behavior personally and simply treat her like everyone else. Give her space. Don’t pull her aside for personal talks. I’m going to write about this topic in the near future. Stay tuned!

      Michael

  13. Saroj Tamrakar July 9, 2012 at 4:38 am #

    Sir,
    Thank you very much for your help.

    • Michael Linsin July 9, 2012 at 6:46 am #

      You’re welcome!

      :)Michael

  14. silfa l. detera October 22, 2012 at 7:12 am #

    hi sir michael,
    i like this great topic. can i ask permission from you to publish this whole article in our local tabloid for the information of my fellow teachers? i am a school guidance counselor and i need to share with them good tips in dealing with disrespectful students because it is one of the many problems that we encounter everyday. if not, what can i do to share your topics to my colleagues? thank you so much.

    • Michael Linsin October 22, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

      Hi Silfa,

      Sure, that would be fine. 🙂

      Michael

  15. Lucas October 27, 2012 at 4:11 am #

    Hey there Michael. First of all, you have a wonderful website, I have found it most enlightening. I, like Ben, am teaching abroad (in Thailand), and though I have not encountered as much disrespect as Ben, I can see where he is coming from. I just want to know…is it possible to have good classroom management with zero administrative support? Because over here in Asia, admin. support is not always guaranteed. I have read your articles and they have great advice, but let’s say Ben wants to turn his class around and make it a warm environment that the students want to be a part of. How does he do that if objects are being thrown at him, students are screaming, etc.? In this case, with NO administrative help, is the best solution just to leave that school and “wash the blood from his hands” so to speak? Again, I have yet to encounter as many problems as it seems he has, but if it can happen to one, it can happen to all!

    • Michael Linsin October 27, 2012 at 6:51 am #

      Hi Lucas,

      There should be administrative support only insomuch as following through with suspend-able offenses. In other words, you are always better off handling behavior problems yourself, in your own classroom, unless those problems turn dangerous–bullying, fighting, attacking the teacher, etc.–which is when you need the support of administration.

      Michael

  16. Lucas October 27, 2012 at 7:33 am #

    Alright Michael, thanks for the advice. The reason I am a bit concerned is that I will start teaching at a new school this coming Monday (8th & 9th grade Gen. Science). I am eager to get the semester started on the right foot, but I am always one to worry about the “what-if’s” (and alot of those “what-if’s” are possible in Thailand). Nevertheless, I will go forward, take your advice, and try to start the first day making my classroom into one that students will want to be a part of, but where they must also show respect for the procedures and rules. Surely the administration will at least assist in the case of dangerous cases–for the rest of the in-class incidents, I will seek the counsel of resources such as this website, Lee Canter, H. Wong, etc. (and my own imagination of course!)

    Thanks again for this website, it really is a big help 🙂

    • Michael Linsin October 27, 2012 at 8:41 am #

      You’re welcome, Lusas! Good luck in your new assignment. You’ll do great!

      Michael

  17. me April 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    I was looking at that because I think I’ve suddenly developed a bad attitude and I’m only in year 8. Before I was really shy aswel! I don’t know whats got into me, I just seem to like winding teachers up! I know that sounds awful, and it is! But its not even as if I don’t know how it feels – both my parents are secondary school teachers (not at my school) luckily!

  18. Amber Thomas June 13, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

    Yes. I’ve done this when I used to work with some really tough urban kids, and it works! I figured it out because I’d see other teachers get into a verbal battle with students and I just thought, “That is so completely not working that I need to do the opposite of that. What is the opposite of that…” It’s this.

  19. Karen June 17, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    The idea to wait until later might be good for a “normal” student but for a student who has a disability of ADHD, they wouldn’t remember the incident and they would feel like they are being punished for no reason. You also have to know the students mental health to start with before applying this approach.Not all kids with ADHD act the same, some are hyperactive, some daydreams others a combination of both and you can’t tell what an ADHD kid looks like. ADHD kids need to be addresses immediately otherwise they genuinely forget. good reputible website for ADHD infomation is additidemag.com

  20. Pam June 30, 2013 at 6:32 am #

    I find that sometimes kids are so impulsive and say things they regret and wish they had not said. In some situations I find that replying with the question “Did you say that to me?” gives them an “out” or a chance to take back what they said. Usually, the student will reply with a no, and the issue is solved. Its non-confrontational yet gets the point across that what was said was not appropriate. At a later point you can then privately let the student know that what they said was inappropriate, which they really already know. This approach also takes the issue away from becoming a “show” for the classroom.

  21. Jody July 4, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    EXCELLENT ADVICE! I have been doing this for years and it works. Teachers should not have to explain themselves to a child when it comes to consequences. If the consequences are already established, there is not need to have a discussion. Long drawn out discussions as to why you are enforcing a consequence only gives the student attention for negative behavior.

  22. Mario September 14, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

    Hello Michael. First of all, thanks for the time invested in writing this articles.

    I have a question, what would be a set of age appropriate consequences for highschool students (grade 8th-11th)?

    I’m having trouble with an 8th grade class. They are ALL disrecpectful and love to challenge authority.

    • Michael Linsin September 15, 2013 at 8:38 am #

      Hi Mario,

      8th grade is really the cut-off point for calling time-out, time-out. In other words, although I recommend the same classroom management plan you find here on the website (Classroom Management Plan category of the archive), you may not want to call the second consequence specifically time-out.

      Michael

  23. frank October 26, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

    Generally class discipline is poor in the schools. Generally some students know ways of imposing on good teachers and breaking them down to suit their needs. Generally teachers in vocation want student attention to get on with the lesson topic for the day, if they don’t have the attention needed, they cannot teach. The teacher may not be the problem, but the disrespectful students that he or she attempts to teach. Can a teacher in vocation attempt to teach an overcrowded, unruly, disrespectful group of young people? NO. Is the teacher in vocation at fault? NO. Some administrators would like to think that the teacher is at fault just to have a cop out. However, some teachers may be at fault for accepting poor teaching conditions and standards. Teacher may reserve the right not to (attempt) to teach unruly, loud, and disrespectful students.

  24. Zach December 3, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    A teacher was actually recently arrested for telling a kid they couldn’t disrecpect them I think because of a violation of the first amendment.

  25. Lori B. November 12, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

    Hi, I enjoyed reading your article but this not only happens in classrooms but also in cafeterias. I am a middle school cafe manager and these kids are totally out of control. They have no problem getting in your face, cussing, tearing up stuff, disrespect. Absolutely none for the ladies who are feeding them. My administration says take names well trying to write names, take money, making sure they are getting a full meal and selling snacks it is almost impossible. Yes I have asked for admin do help monitor but that is not always possible. I have kids screaming at me, then I scream back so I am just trying to find a happy medium. Most days I do walk away but sometimes it just flies right out of my mouth.

    • Michael Linsin November 12, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

      Hi Lori,

      It shouldn’t be your job to try and supervise the students while also handling your responsibilities. I’m surprised you don’t have more, or any, teachers or administrators there in the cafe to manage the students.

      Michael

  26. Heather August 20, 2015 at 1:32 am #

    Hi Michael,
    I’ve spent the summer holidays reading through your books and blog. I might be your biggest fan. 2 questions:
    1) You suggest jumping to consequence 2 (time out) when a child shows disrespect. From a pupil’s point of view, would this not sit as being unfair, i.e. bypassing consequence 1. When I teach the classroom management plan I could specify that in certain cases such as lack of respect, consequence 1 will be bypassed but that too vague.
    2) I know the class I’m inheriting and yup they’re hailed as being quite something. I’ll be spending day 1 on my classroom management plan. Is day 1 too early to start with consequences. I’d opt for saying, “that’s rule number 2 you’ve broken, do you see why? Let’s recap…etc… From tomorrow, our cm plan will be put into action…” Your advice please? Thank you again, Heather

    • Michael Linsin August 20, 2015 at 7:07 am #

      Hi Heather,

      Good to hear about your summer reading!

      1.) Yes, you would mention that you reserve the right to call parents, send to time-out etc. immediately for certain especially disruptive, aggressive, and disrespectful behaviors. If it does happen, they’ll understand why.

      2.) No, it’s not too early for consequences as long as you feel confident they understand. However, if it’s your first time using them and you want to ease into it by giving two warnings instead of one for the first week, then that will work fine.

      Michael

  27. Heather August 21, 2015 at 6:21 am #

    Thank you Michael – your answers make good sense and I appreciate your quick reply.

  28. Emily February 29, 2016 at 12:46 am #

    I have about 5 or 6 disrespectful students in my class that are making my life a living hell. They constantly speak on the mat and refuse to do work I set them. They play fight with each other and are constantly bullying others in the class. I have just about had enough. I have tried everything from staying calm all day to yelling and nothing is working. Most come from poor upbringings. Any help you could suggest or strategies that have worked in the past for a whole group of consistently disrespectful kids?

    • Michael Linsin February 29, 2016 at 7:49 am #

      Hi Emily,

      I’ll be sure and put this topic on the list of future articles.

      Michael

  29. DC February 29, 2016 at 3:13 pm #

    One last thing and then I’m done:

    The imposition of silence is a power play that expresses the ultimate contempt for the target: as George Bernard Shaw put it, “Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn.” The one giving the silent treatment — whether it’s not answering email, turning away in the middle of a conversation, or pretending not to hear a question — gets to feel control. In not explaining the cause, the perpetrator delivers particular pain. The message is loud and clear: “You do not matter.”

  30. DC March 1, 2016 at 6:16 am #

    I posted three comments challenging this article, one with my main points and two with brief supporting evidence–I hope they’re just being moderated and haven’t been discarded. The main gist was that treating kids like this absolutely does get read as a “power play,” covert or not, and should be replaced with actual conversations about what’s going on. Please consider other alternatives to this sort of covert interpersonal violence: it may make you feel temporarily like the “bigger person,” but in the long run it only causes more problems.

    • Michael Linsin March 1, 2016 at 8:03 am #

      Hi DC,

      We just saw your comments this morning. We try to approve every comment within 12 hours. However, we only see two comments from you. It’s likely that if your other comments have a trace of promotion in them than they were caught by our strong spam filters.

      Michael

  31. Thanks for your reply March 2, 2016 at 10:05 am #

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks so much for your reply–I didn’t intentionally promote anything, but it could have been the fact that one of my short comments included a link to an article about “the cut direct”–just Google it to see what I mean. This was my earliest comment:

    “NONONONONO!!! Don’t do this! I had a teacher who did precisely these things and all it did was destroy my confidence for the rest of the school year. If someone is getting in your face and you don’t know why and don’t like it, you have to say something. Period. Using your words is both the correct way for an adult to handle a conflict AND a good example to that student and the others in your class.

    I was an exemplary student for a very long time but went through some horrible [stuff] that made made me distrust authority figures. Confronted with someone who just *ignored* me or played silent power games in response to what was (inwardly) a cry for help was devastating on so many levels. I was afraid to say anything in case it came out as disrespectful, but I didn’t know what else to do. Please, please consider the possibility that conversations have a positive and life-giving effect in situations like these. You don’t have to be the boss, the enforcer, or the Bigger Person (which comes across as a snooty creep). All you have to do is use your words.”

    It came out pretty strongly-worded, but that’s how strongly I feel about this. I had a great deal of respect for the teacher involved but it was very greatly mixed with fear, and unfortunately the fear only grew as I was met with the silent scorn of “You did something wrong but I’m not telling you what, just letting you suffer for it.” Anyway, thanks again for the reply–I hope very much that these situations become less and less frequent as everyone involved learns better communication skills.

    Sincerely,
    –DC

  32. Anne March 12, 2016 at 10:44 am #

    We are an after school enrichment program. Our success is measured by students’ academic achievement. We need a quiet time for homework/reading and as well as an orderly time for enrichment activities. (we also have free time) Do we have to have a time out place or can we use two warnings and then a note home? I ask because, kids grades 3-5, like to be sent out so they don’t have to do what they should. Our facility doesn’t have a “separate time out room.” We can send them to “free time” time out by leaving them behind with staff supervision while other students enjoy free time. If you suggest this, then what should students do during this time. Struggling with time out. Thanks.

    • Michael Linsin March 12, 2016 at 12:47 pm #

      Hi Anne,

      I recommend in-class time-out only.

      Michael

  33. Sue March 13, 2016 at 1:44 pm #

    I’ve been reading the articles on your site and have begun implementing your suggestions. I have seen a HUGE turnaround in my second grade students’ behaviors in just 4 days. I need to thank you for helping me find a way to actually TEACH again instead of worrying about behaviors. I’m actually enjoying teaching again! I have referred many of my colleagues to visit your site. I just wanted to say thank you!

    • Michael Linsin March 13, 2016 at 2:03 pm #

      Awesome Sue! Way to go. I’m thrilled how well you’re doing. Thanks for sharing your success with me.

      Michael

  34. Mbali phakathi April 18, 2016 at 11:43 am #

    thank you very my much…I have a learner who is so disrespectful he picks on me…and doesn’t really know how to address me respectfully…I think he sees himself my equal. I’m a young teacher.

  35. Brenda October 6, 2016 at 4:15 am #

    So, I read another one of your articles and although it hit a lot of major issues and gave some helpful tips, and insight, I wasn’t satisfied. I needed something more. This provided that. It feels more concrete for me and the issues I’ve experienced with difficult students.

    I work in an environment where being “cool” is than education. To show interest in learning is not popular, and some of my kids would prefer to derail the lesson than engage it.

    Addressing rude/inappropriate behavior is making me weary because we lose valuable class time. This is why I like this approach.

    Thanks for providing solutions.