Teachers who are screamers

Discussion in 'General Education' started by SpringGirl14, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. SpringGirl14

    SpringGirl14 Rookie

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    I know this may sound like a silly question, but maybe some of you who have been teaching a long time could help me out. Do you find screaming, I mean the teachers who scream like they are being killed
    are effective teachers? Do you think by screaming it corrects student behavior more or is beneficial for students? I can think back to some of my favorite teachers who I learned the most from, and although they would get loud at times, ran a tight ship, and were strict, very rarely would they scream like they
    were being attacked. I don't have my own classroom, but I have been in many classrooms where this is how the teachers taught. I've observed many teachers, especially in the upper elementary grades, who just spoke very nasty and would scream just to give the class a simple direction. Granted, I know you can't be their friend and let them walk all over you. I can scream, that's for sure, but I just can't see this as being my teaching style. Yes, some classes are just very chatty, but since the behavior continues and it's halfway through the school year, how effective is screaming and talking nasty to kids?
     
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  3. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Honestly, I don't know any teachers who are "screamers". And honestly, if they were teachers in my school and screamers, they would be unemployed teachers.
     
  4. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

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    Screaming at children does not breed learning, it breeds fear, distrust, and belittlement. While students may actually be able to learn despite the screaming, they also learn that its OK to be disrespectful to others. Sarcasm, yelling, and arguing with students are nver tolerable.

    I have had the unfortunate privilige of knowing two screaming teachers in my experience thus far. Both of them had relatively good scores on state tests, but students hated them. They complied with the screaming orders because they did not want the harsh punishments and consequences that also came with it.

    I once heard one yell at a student, "Why are you so stupid?" during a tutoring session. The special ed child that I was tutoring in the same room at the time also heard it, was shocked, and told me, "Ms. Proverbs, that teacher needs to be fired." He was right.
     
  5. EDUK8_ME

    EDUK8_ME Cohort

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    This year my preschool classroom moved from an early childhood center to an elementary building and I am just appalled to hear teachers yelling at students as I walk down the hall. Thankfully, my classroom is not near any of these teachers.
     
  6. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I yelled at my students today. They were absolutely nuts with anticipation - today was the last day before break. But...the county scheduled my classes for a district-wide online assessment. So here they were, wound-up, in the computer room with faulty equipment, confused about their objectives and talking up a storm. They just.would.not.shut.up. But... a sharp "HEY! GET QUIET AND STOP ACTING CRAZY!" got them right on task, lol. They took their test, we went back to class, took some notes and then called it quits with ten minutes left on the clock.

    It probably worked because they've never heard it from me before. I imagine that tactic would lose its effectiveness after a while.

    Constant screaming at kids? Can't see it working. Plus, who has all that energy?
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I don't know any screamers.
     
  8. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    There are some screamers at my high school and as far as I can tell it is totally ineffective and I really don't get at all why they do it.
     
  9. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    I've thought that too, that it must be exhausting to yell at the kids so much.
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I don't either. They simply wouldn't last in my building.

    One of our teachers is a legend as an amazing teacher, and he's LOUD, but that's not about anger, it's just how he is everywhere.

    Today I was pretty much mute. And I was able to teach-- every single one of my classes. The whole period. Without correcting anyone. At all.

    In fact, if I AM angry, I tend to get VERY quiet. That's when they know they're in serious trouble.
     
  11. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    the funny thing is - teachers who scream not only look unprofessional, but downright childish.
     
  12. Momma C

    Momma C Comrade

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    Ditto !!
     
  13. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I suffer from hearing loss...and tone loss. I tend to get loud when I am tired or have a headache. I also have a loud voice. Parents think I am mean because I am loud. I have tried to not be loud, but sometimes I just am. My kids are not scared of me...the kids I deal with daily on bus and recess aren't scared of me. After parents get to know me, they most of the time respect me and are happy with my class.
     
  14. Lindager

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    What do you mean by screamers? I have been known to raise my voice a little. Usually I will just say something like EXCUSE ME!!! WE NEED TO GET UNDER CONTROL. I then just wait a few seconds, then when they quiet down and can hear me and I have their attention I go back to talking in a normal voice. Is this screaming??

    We have one teacher at our school who has even scared me she goes into long loud lectures. My sons friend graduated from this MS in 2003, when she came back to sub she told me Mrs. M still scares me!!
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think that's talking loudly,not screaming.

    When someone says "screaming" I tend to think of yelling nasty things at the kids, not of speaking nicely with lots of volume.
     
  16. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    When I was in high school, I went through a 6-week course called Skills Acquisitions for Youth (S.A.Y.). In one of our classes, we divided into pairs for an exercise. One person would say "I want it" and the other would say "You can't have it". We were instructed to keep repeating our given phrase, using our entire vocal range - from shouting down to a whisper.

    The purpose of the exercise was to show we felt more confident and in control when we used a lower voice. Screaming or yelling made us feel frustrated and not in control. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense.

    When you KNOW you are right or in control of a situation, you don't feel any reason to raise your voice. The only time you really feel a need to shout is when you realize you do NOT have any control over a situation (such as the person simply refusing to give what you ask for).

    As teachers, we should always be confident in our knowledge and abilities and feel like we are the authority and controlling force in the classroom. Any teacher that routinely screams at his/her kids is simply telling everyone "I'M NOT REALLY IN CONTROL HERE".
     
  17. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    That's the one thing I hate with a passion...with an extreme passion. It happens here a lot. Those of you who say those teachers couldn't last in your building, wow, that's good. Their jobs are in no type of danger here.

    It's totally common and acceptable in the "rougher" schools here as some teachers think that's the only way to get through to students from rough environments, but actually the opposite ends up happening.

    The principals know this goes on and choose to keep those teachers in their schools.
     
  18. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Cerek, that's a great activity! I want to try that with my high schoolers who always want to respond to each other with screaming!
     
  19. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I have never once yelled at a class. I'm not a very loud person by nature, so I probably wouldn't be able to yell at my kids if I tried. I don't even agree with yelling to get their attention while they're loud (even if it's not done in a mean way). I have received a lot of complements from parents, other teachers, and students about how I never raise my voice.

    I have heard other teachers yell though. I can hear them down the hallway! I hate it!
     
  20. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    We have a teacher on staff who yells at her kids. It's pretty sad.

    I have spoken loudly at my kids, but never screamed. Screaming just causes kids to really respect you anymore as a professional. I know at the schools my hubby subs at, teachers scream and yell because that's the only way the kids respond. :(

    I find it much more effective to teach kids attention-getting hand signals, to whisper, clap, etc.
     
  21. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    As I said, it made a powerful impact on me. When the instructor asked "How did you feel during while you were doing this?", we kinda shrugged at first. Then he asked "Didn't you feel more confident, more in control...more powerful when you did NOT raise your voice?" That hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks.

    I realized TRUE power came from using a quiet voice. When you ARE in control of a situation, you don't feel any need to raise your voice.

    Hopefully, you can help your students recognize this and then model better methods using a calm voice and courteous manner to communicate confidence.
     
  22. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    I'm not a screamer per se but I find the occassional rant does wonders. However this is a tactic that can be overused and then it loses it's effectivness!
     
  23. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Oh, there is no doubt the occasional, well-timed use of a shout or raised voice can be very effective. Sometimes, students DO need to be reminded more forcefully that they are supposed to listen to US instead of their friends.

    I have a student in one class that is a definite distraction when she chooses to be and, one day, she insisted on making a comment about EVERYTHING that was said by anyone in the class, including me. She did it again while I was trying to illustrate a problem for another student on the board. When I asked her to be quiet, she simply turned to her neighbor and continued her conversation. I turned from the board and yelled "QUIET!" so loudly, it actually startled our maintenance man who was working in the next room. It also shocked the students enough to stop all talking. I looked towards the talker and told the class "When I am talking or explaining a problem, I expect ALL of you to be quiet and listen to what I am saying. If you have a question or a comment, you raise your hand. Is that understood?" That got the point across.

    As I said before, I normally get very quiet when I'm not happy with the class, so going to the extreme opposite had an even bigger impact than it normally would. I've not had to raise my voice a single time since that incident.
     
  24. SpringGirl14

    SpringGirl14 Rookie

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    For example, a kid is talking and " What are you doing? What is wrong with you? Quiet down now" is screamed, yelled however you want to call it to where it looks like the blood vessel is going to pop in there person's head. But this is done nonstop all throughout the day and I don't see how this is fixing the behavior AT ALL. This is usually done with a hand movement while the teacher is pointing at the kid. This teacher does not talk to these kids like you would any other person. Everything has to be shouted and yelled at an extremely loud tone of voice and this is done to correct behavior, get a student's attention or even give out directions normally when this person gets frustrated. Now imagaine as an adult having to sit in a classroom like this lol. I thought my ear drums were going to rupture a few times. Of course every now and then this has to be done and a yelling will stop the unwanted behavior. But to use this day in and day out?
     
  25. SpringGirl14

    SpringGirl14 Rookie

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    Your instructor is a wise person!
     
  26. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I agree. He was a professional counselor and the S.A.Y. program was directed primarily towards at-risk teens that had been in trouble at school or with the law. But it was open to other teens as well. We learned several valuable lesson to increase our own confidence and self-esteem, but also learned to value and work with others as well.
     
  27. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Several others have made the point, and of course you're correct.

    Screaming (or rather, raising your voice/appearing angry/out of control) can be a form of punishment, for at least some kids. I mean punishment in the behavioral sense -- the application of an aversive stimulus (namely, you yelling) contingent on a response (their misbehavior).

    Punishment does work, despite many flaws. It's addictive to the one using the punishment -- seeing such a quick response encourages them to do it again. The ones being punished can easily develop resentment, can attempt undesired escape behaviors, and they can become accustomed to it so that greater levels are necessary (moreover, if it doesn't work the first time, much greater levels are needed right away). It's also difficult to calibrate -- even if it works for some kids, it might not work for others who already have a higher tolerance.

    Simply using it rarely solves most of the problems and allows it to remain an effective tool. I suspect it might be even more effective if specifically planned -- pick the behaviors (not too many) you absolutely do not want to occur. Punish those behaviors immediately and consistently. Make sure you're punishing actual behaviors, not non-behaviors.

    Of course, there's also raising your voice purely for attention, which is entirely different. It might be hard to distinguish, but if I'm doing it I try to pay close attention to my facial expression and not project anger. Judging by how loud most children get, it's not the volume alone, but the disapproval of their actions that makes it punishing.
     
  28. timsterino

    timsterino Comrade

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    I NEVER scream at students (not even once in a while). If you do, you have no control of your classroom. There are much more effective, appropriate ways to address misbehavior.

    If you are a teacher who screams at their students, STOP or find another profession.
     
  29. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I agree, in general, with your sentiment and certainly agree shouting would be inappropriate for Special Ed students, but I don't feel the occasional use of a quick shout displays a lack of classroom or personal control.

    In the incident I described earlier, I had tried other measures and none of them were working for this particular student on that particular day, so I tried a completely different strategy that did work because it was so unexpected and shocking.
     
  30. John Lee

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    Do you actually mean "scream", TS? Because I can't recall any teachers I've seen, "screaming" either. If you are talking about teachers who talk to their students in a raised voice all the time, then I know lots of teachers who do that. And in fact, I think it tends to reflect a bit of a weakness in their teaching. I know teachers in my school who, every day, seem like the drill sargent in Full Metal Jacket, with the students as a collective Private Pyle, in how they talk to the kids. Berate would be too harsh a word, but definitely get a sense that they (the teacher) operate on a level higher than calm, or assertive. It's not in an attacking, demeaning way like that drill sargent in that movie. But they definitely give off the sense of upset, and definite stern-ness with their tone. Which would be fine, if it actually is your personality. (Not to mention the permanent frown lines it produces!)

    I don't believe in letting teaching alter your personality in a negative way. I think a lot of teachers have developed their way as being Mrs. "Stern". But unfortunately, I think this kind-of seeps into their personal life, where adults don't need/like to be around Mrs. "Stern", because you're too up tight.

    I will acknowledge too, that it's different for men teachers in establishing themselves. Most/if not all men teachers (elementary) are not the "mean" type. They are the calm yet firm type.
     
  31. Blurazzberi

    Blurazzberi Rookie

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    In seventh grade I had a teacher who would not scream...but would "considerably raise her voice." She was very intimidating, I never dared ask her any questions...if I didn't understand something I would figure it out on my own or take it home and get help.
    I think I would have learned much more if I hadn't been so dang scared of her. :(
     
  32. Lindager

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    Thank you for the clarification. I do not think I am a screamer now. I do have a great relationship with most of my students. I even get a hug now and then.

    I can not imagine ANY circumstance where yelling at special Ed. students would work and it does just wear out with other kids.. The Sp. Ed. kids get yelled at and told what they are doing wrong so much in there day to day life. I find a kind word and praise just works so much better especially with Sp. Ed. kids.
     
  33. flutterbye

    flutterbye Rookie

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    I scream when there is immediate NEED to. For example, last week one of my students was about to jump out of her swing at recess- she was going pretty high too- I really screamed "NO" quick and immediate. I think if I did that often, it would not have an immediate response when I needed it to be.
     
  34. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oh, that was absolutely necessary!!! It wasn't about being mean or cranky, it was about ensuring the safety of a child.
     
  35. Bumble

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    Last year I had to play soothing music to cover up the screamer who taught next door. She didn't come back this year. I enjoy having my voice and think screaming degrades a child.
     
  36. timsterino

    timsterino Comrade

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    We should not yell at ANY students, special ed or otherwise. You can be an effective teacher without yelling at students.
     
  37. Ms. I

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    I think screaming can be effective if done in the right rare circumstance & definitely not all the time or else kids will be immuned to it & soon ignore it, which is never a good thing of course. A teacher should try to not start that habit & should implement all the other tactics/strategies first.

    I personally don't LIKE to scream. Who wants a hoarse voice?
     
  38. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I agree. I try not to talk loud at all. My best strategy is to start talking very softly!

    I have a teacher in my hall who is a screamer. She leaves her class alone for awhile and then walks in and screams for them to be quiet. My students are so glad that she isn't their teacher.
     
  39. gigi

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    No need to scream. When my daughter was in fifth grade the teacher next door was a screamer, yes, she really did scream and yell at those kids. It was so bad my daughters class could hear her through the walls. That teacher didn't make it another year.
     
  40. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I actually liked this teacher, but one of my colleagues was a screamer. The teacher taught several doors down but I heard major shouting a couple times each week. Usually the teacher had pulled a student into the hall for a "talking to". The teacher would shout things, while bent over nearly in the student's face, such as, "You are acting dumb! You're not, but you're acting dumb. Dumb, dumb, dumb!" Even my students' eyes would grow big as though to say, "What the __?"

    This teacher has since been promoted to a major leadership position.
     
  41. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    We had a teacher whose nick-name in the community was the screamer because you could hear this woman down the halls of the school, at the front door when you entered,etc. This teacher yelled all day long about behavior. She could never figure out why the kids never listened to her. The kids were either terrified of her or tuned her out. Sad thing is, it was only a small subset of kids that were behavior problems, the rest of the class just had to watch her constant display of yelling.

    No, screaming at students isn't effective if it is the primary tool in the toolbox.
     

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