Middle School Classroom Drama: Controlling the Verbal Aggressor

substitute teachers

Verbal aggressors are types of students who can create an atmosphere of intimidation and chaos. As a result, aggressors make other students feel highly uncomfortable.  Verbal aggressors are unpredictable.  Because they disagree with everyone’s ideas and comments, they put teachers on constant guard.   Name calling, threatening looks and lashing out at others are typical behavior patterns of aggressors.

If verbal aggressors are allowed to behave without intervention, the chances of hurt harm and danger become increasingly high.  Anger rules the aggressor. Other students may be pushed, shoved, or hit. Objects may be thrown that can cause serious injury.  The higher the grade, the more dangerous the aggressor becomes.  Both students and teachers are under serious threat.

Taming an aggressor demands a swift response.  You must address the situation with a definite and sobering plan of control.

Effective Action to Take

Ask the verbal aggressor to keep comments to themselves, instead of directing them toward other students.  Aggressors have a habit of putting others down because of their ideas.

Remind them of the established rules and regulations of the classroom. Emphasize respect.

Make the aggressor aware of his or her negative impact upon others students and provide stiff guidelines for bringing the behavior under control.

Ask other students whether or not they agree with the behavior of the aggressor and if that is the appropriate way to get respect from others.

If all else fails, disconnect the aggressor from the classroom.  Send him or her to a reflection room or a behavior controlled the atmosphere.  When the aggressor is ready to return, then accept him or her back with open arms.  You want to create an impression that the discipline isn’t personally, but only against the inappropriate behavior.

Lack of Strong Response

The majority of new teachers are unprepared for the aggressor. As a result, they find themselves hesitant and unable to respond credibly.  The verbal aggressor may sense weakness and is emboldened by the lack of strong response from teachers.

Several reasons exist for the behavior of the aggressor, ranging from a camouflage display for lack of understanding to a hidden agenda against teachers and other students. Nevertheless, a fully developed response plan must be put in place for such aggressive students.

Laying the Ground Rules from Day One

Successful teachers push a culture of respect from day one.  They lay swift ground rules for threatening behavior from day one. They are firm and decisive in their presentation of what is expected of each student in terms of relating to one another.  Any form of disrespect will consist of swift discipline and communication with parents.

Having an effective discipline plan from day one will deliver teachers from a ton of stress, wasted time and weak productivity.