How strict is TOO strict?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by MissMae, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. MissMae

    MissMae Rookie

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    Mar 7, 2015

    I need your opinion on something, because I feel like teachers do this, but never talk about it for fear of getting in trouble, or because it is sometimes seen as a mark of a bad teacher or something, BUT:

    Do you (or someone you know) yell at your students and/or raise your tone at them?

    I don't want this to devolve into a nasty discussion, just wanting your true, honest opinion.
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Mar 7, 2015

    Let me ask you a question in return. Have you ever had a student do something that could be potentially harmful to themselves or others? Have you ever had a day without end, a headache, and a student acting carelessly despite many attempts to rein him in? Have you ever, in the safety of your own car, yelled at a careless driver? If you have answered yes to any of those questions, then you have answered your own question. When we see imminent danger, when we are down to our last good nerve, and there is no help in sight, I firmly believe the change in tone can/will happen. That isn't a terrible thing, if seldom, because it will immediately get your students attention. I am not condoning yelling on a regular basis, because it no longer has any constructive value. By the way, I do yell at careless drivers who could easily cause accidents, but that is a release mechanism, because their actions scared me. The yelling in my car is stress relief. I have also gone to batting cages after work and hit balls for the same reason. I admit that a woman hitting baseballs while in a dress is a comical sight, but it serves a purpose. I think that all things are relative, and you need to know useless yelling from the "DANGER!!!!" voice. I learned that as a parent - it serves me well as a teacher.
     
  4. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I teach HS so I know it's different but I do give a sharp, loud "HEY!" that is very effective in getting their attention. I do raise my tone as necessary. It's hard to explain, but I use it when I'm disappointed in something (like failing to follow basic directions). It's not yelling, but they usually get that a change is needed.
     
  5. MissMae

    MissMae Rookie

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    Mar 7, 2015

    Yes, yes, and yes. ;)
     
  6. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Mar 7, 2015

    I don't think yelling has anything to do with being strict.

    Many teachers who yell as their form of classroom management generally are not strict and don't have much control over their classroom, because the students know all they will do is yell, and they can take that if they get to do what they want.

    What scares them more is if a normally exuberant and happy teacher becomes unnaturally quiet and still.

    I have raised my voice when something needs to stop IMMEDIATELY. But I use it sparingly (like almost never) because it loses its effect if used too often.

    I do raise my voice to be heard over loud science labs just because of their nature.

    However I try never to yell in anger. I won't say it will never happen though, but I regret it when it does.
     
  7. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Mar 7, 2015

    In a perfect world, yelling shouldn't happen. However, I really dislike any blanket statement about what should or shouldn't happen in a classroom because every class is different. Sometimes it's hard to know where that line is crossed between speaking loudly and yelling. I am usually a soft speaker so when I raise my voice the kids might see it as a yell but it's mostly my loud teacher voice that's saved for "special" occasions.
     
  8. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Mar 8, 2015

    The strictest and kindest teacher I knew rarely raised her voice, but did so every now and then for imminent danger.

    Then there was the teacher who the entire community gave a name to because she yelled at young children every single day almost all day long. She didn't have a loud speaking voice. It wasn't for dramatic impact in a lesson. It was shrieking at the students because she had no classroom management skills. She moved on to a school closer to home. Thank goodness for this community, but not for the other kids she shrieks at all day.

    With both of those examples said, most teachers I know will yell every now and then. It is much more rare. Sometimes it is frustration or sometimes it is something that needs immediate attention.
     
  9. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Mar 8, 2015

    I try never to raise my voice. If I need to get student attention though, I will open my door about an inch and then slam it. Because of how my room is situated (and because everybody keeps their door shut), I can do that without disturbing other classes. Doing that and then speaking to the kids in slightly more than a whisper is enough to make sure they are listening to every word I say. I usually end up needing to do it twice a year, but knock on wood, it hasn't been necessary with my clas yet.
     
  10. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Yes, yes, yes. One of the teachers on my hall yells all. the. time. I know, because I can hear her. Her classroom is chaos 99% of the time and she yells over top of it all. I have yet to actually hear a follow through on a consequence, but since I don't sit and listen all day it may happen.

    I rarely raise my voice and when I do it's a firm, sharp voice - not yelling. It really surprises my students because it's so rare. My principal calls it my 'teacher voice' and I reserve it for serious moments. Generally I prefer to respond quietly and calmly.
     
  11. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I've yelled before, but it's rare and I apologize for it because it was my bad. I do raise my voice for whole class discipline when I simply must lecture. Again, I try to keep that for needed times.
     
  12. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Let's face it--we all have a teacher voice (firm/no nonsense) from time-to-time.

    Personally, though, I choose to let the kids know how sad/disappointed/heartbroken I am when they make a poor choice. It usually does the trick (probably because they respect me and don't want to disappoint).
     
  13. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Mar 9, 2015

    As others have mentioned, only when it is a matter of safety, and I need a student to stop doing something immediately (which is pretty rare). In my earlier years, I did raise my voice a few times when students were being disrespectful, or their behavior was unacceptable. Now I realize that "yelling" at kids doesn't get me anywhere. I do a pretty good job of keeping my cool, even when a kid is losing it.
     
  14. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    This is my experience and opinion as well. Every time a teacher yells in anger, it's a failure of management skills. That said, I've yelled in the past and regretted it. I haven't yelled for many years except for safety concerns (Watch out for that bus!).

    When I'm in the zone, my students behave because they want to. My students and I are pleasant, cheerful and businesslike. It's a beautiful thing. Anyone walking past the class would probably not call me strict.
     
  15. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    Mar 10, 2015

    :agreed:
     
  16. futureteacher13

    futureteacher13 Rookie

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    Mar 11, 2015

    When I first started in education nearly 6 years ago, I thought that "yelling" would make my student respond better to me. WRONG! It didn't work at all. Now, after 5 years, and taking a PD on discipline and classroom management, I have improved in these areas and feel more than ready to become a teacher (even though I know my first year of teacher will NOT be easy)!
     
  17. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Mar 16, 2015

    I do not yell at my students. I can use a firm, strict voice, but when I am upset my voice gets softer. I do not judge anyone who yells, but I do have to wonder if it is the most effective strategy. I was observing in a teacher's classroom one day when I heard loud yelling. I thought something was happening on campus. Something bad. It took me a minute to realize it was the teacher next door yelling at her second graders. It was scary to me! I can only imagine how the students felt.
     

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