Anger can play a big part in our classrooms if we let it, but we can also learn to corral the emotion and support our students so that it doesn’t play such a large role in their lives. In order to do this we much teach our students that while it is okay to be angry about something, it is NOT alright for it to ruin our day or even life. This post includes seven ideas for taming anger and helping students to work through it!
Helping a Student Deal with Anger by Watching for Cues
Quiz Quiz Trade as a Trigger
For example, I had a student my very first year that absolutely hated the cooperative learning structure Quiz Quiz Trade. I mean he would throw desks on the ground, toss around supplies, lock himself in the bathroom to kick and scream. I mean, he was REALLY set off by this structure. Now, this structure is also one of my favorites, and something we used almost every day, so there had to be a compromise. I spoke with this student and he said that he really hated being put on the spot and feeling dumb when he didn’t know the answer. Our solution was that he would get to practice with the cards by himself before we completed them as a class. This was really a win-win, because he got extra practice with the concepts, and he didn’t disrupt our class when it was time to complete the structure.
Be Firm, But Fair with all Students
Throughout the day in the classroom, but especially when it comes to discipline, it is imperative to be firm, but fair with all students. Keep your expectations high for your class, and enforce them equally. This will take care of a lot of frustration.
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Helping a Student Deal with Anger by Teaching That It’s Alright to Disagree
Model for your students that it is okay to disagree. It is going to happen. It is NOT okay to have a fit over someone not sharing your opinions. Show your students what it means to respectfully disagree and find a compromise. This is a lifelong skill that will benefit them.
Discuss Anger and What Causes It
Take the time to talk about emotions, not just anger, but all of them and what causes them. Talk about what brings your students joy and make that a larger part of the classroom. Talk about what makes students frustrated or angry and how you can work through it together. Really, just talk about it.
Some anger is caused when students feel out of control and show up with attention seeking behaviors. For ideas on how to work with attention seeking students without losing your mind check out this post.
Helping a Student Deal with Anger by Being Active
Recess is vital. Please don’t take it away. I know that sometimes it feels like the only power we have over students, but don’t. I have struggled with this myself, but they really need it socially, emotionally, and physically.
Play the scenario out a couple of ways, but always be sure to include the best case scenario of how things work out. We all need a little more hope in our lives that things will turn out great!
Helping a Student Deal with Anger by Practicing Meditation
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