Anger is a natural human emotion. Every person does get angry and is free to get angry from time to time, since in this scenario, the emotions will be stockpiled, and then discharged all at once. It is claimed that people should express their emotions to prevent chronic illness and emotional stress that results from keeping one’s genuine feelings hidden.
Depending on the circumstances, teachers can at least occasionally experience this emotion. Teachers are known to have a lot of control and patience. But at times teachers can burst into anger. What makes teachers angry?
Although it is greatly appreciated that teachers serve as role models and constantly maintain a cheerful demeanor in front of their students, there are times and situations in which they must reveal their real feelings. At this point, the feelings of anger or fury.
If you want to know the reasons why teachers are angry at times, you’ve come to the right place. Why? Well, having a grasp of the reasons that make teachers angry and the ways they could best deal with it, if you’re new to the teaching profession, you can set the best strategic plan on how to manage your emotions in front of your students and will help you carry on with your roles as a teacher moving forward.
<<How do you set clear and fair expectations? Do you take care of your classroom management strategies so your students can be at their best to meet expectations?
What Makes Teachers Angry?
Anger is a normal part of the journey of teaching in difficult situations. Although most teachers are kind and caring, there is still a tendency for them to lose their temper and become angry at their students, especially during class discussions.
How am I able to tell you this? It’s because I am a teacher myself. So, I find it easy to share the things that can make teachers angry and the ways to deal with them.
8 things that make teachers angry
Teachers are likely to become angry when…
1. Students are not listening
How many times has this happened to you? Despite our effort of making our discussions engaging and interesting, there are still students who won’t pay attention. It can stress us out, especially if you’re discussing important things that they should not miss. We have used tricks and all but still, a student or two are not listening. And we give a warning.
Still, the ill habit continues. The line has been crossed. And we get angry. But we still manage to show it calmly. But we should not yell. It’s not the solution, but it’s a classroom management thing.
Even though we’re at the height of our fury, we should still remember that there can be subtle ways to impose discipline in the classroom and ignite the value of listening.
How to deal with it
Even though we know that not listening when somebody is talking is a sign of disrespect, we should have to find out why a student tunes out. It could be that you’re talking too much and you monopolize the discussion. Do less of the talking and give more hands-on activities and offer more real interactions with your students.
Think of attention-grabbing ways so students will always pay attention and listen. By saying, I have an important announcement and I have to give it for once, so you should listen.” Then, you have to make sure that you’ll not repeat your instructions and announcements.
Make it a habit not to give your instructions several times so it will be inculcated in the minds of your students that you really mean what you say.
In addition to this, you can use the “immediately stop talking strategy”. Your silence can make them wonder. You’ll notice them looking at each other thinking of what might be the reason that you stop talking.
And when everyone is all ears, grab the opportunity to inject the most important reminder that you’re expecting them to listen and be attentive.
2. Students are talking and are noisy
As much as we want to make every moment in the classroom productive, still, at times, we get caught up with students who are talkative and very noisy.
We put in our best efforts to make engaging presentations and oh, others don’t appreciate it. We feel disrespected and we get angry. It’s human nature.
When students are boisterous and what they talk about is not relevant to the lesson, they tend to be disruptive and disrespectful.
How to deal with it
There are students who love to talk with their neighbors even though class discussions have already begun. They just love it and they can become disruptive.
Early on in my teaching career, I often got mad when students were very noisy. My anger seemed to rip me open because I felt that my students played on me. Well, that was once upon a time until I tried self-reflection.
There must be something wrong. We should reflect. Do we do the talking most of the time? What do we talk about? Do we give them opportunities to interact?
In order for us to have a quiet and peaceful classroom, let’s imagine ourselves to be in the students’ shoes. What could be behind such impolite actions and misbehavior? Well, we should find out.
Dealing with noisy and disruptive pupils can take up valuable instructional time. At some point, these loud students can really challenge us.
Another way of controlling class noise is to include in the classroom rules the value of respect that when someone is talking, everyone should listen. Then, as we design the learning tasks, we should give opportunities to our students to interact and work with their peers.
3. Students are doing irrelevant things during the discussion
Students who don’t engage in classroom activities are usually done other things. Yes, they are busy, but not on your subject. It’s on another subject. Of course, you might feel insulted. And you get furious. As for me, the period intended for my subject is very limited and I want to make the most of it.
These students can undermine our confidence. And they disrupt the class because you’re to confront them each time they’re caught. This wastes precious moments of learning in the classroom.
How to deal with it
Being angry when you catch your students being busy doing other things can cause a bag of stress. But don’t despair as there are ways that we can improve the situation.
First, in a discreet manner, we can invite the students involved to an informal discussion. Or, if you can’t really wait, you can approach the student and ask about the relevance of the things he or she does to the presented lesson.
But, I prefer meeting the student privately and having meaningful conversations emphasizing the importance of respect. Confrontations in front of the whole class will just make the situation worse.
The lessons won’t be disrupted, they won’t have an audience, and you’ll both come out looking good. If you must turn their attention during the class, do so as briefly and succinctly as you can in a nice way. Don’t scold or give your sarcastic views.
I’ll ask questions like: Is the discussion too boring? Is it uninteresting? Is it hard that you can’t focus and you opt to do other things? These are great questions for me to find out what’s going on with the student.
4. Students come in late despite frequent reminders
Consider a day in our classroom, when our students are paying close attention to us. And just then, a latecomer enters. The tendency is you break your control over the entire class. That student disturbs your lesson.
It is our responsibility as teachers to manage this interruption as best as we can while upholding order in the classroom.
When a student is chronically late, there must be something wrong. And we must find out why. If we are really concerned with the said student, we must spend time knowing what’s going on.
Is something going on at home? These latecomers must be onto something and it’s our job to find out.
How to deal with it
First, not being late in class should be included in the set of classroom rules. It should be given and consequences should be explained at the beginning of the school year.
Students have to value the role of punctuality in the classroom. Establish a clear and fair rule about it.
If being tardy has become a habit of a particular student despite frequent warnings and reminders, then we should invite the parents for a private conference. Make sure that you keep a record of being tardy and present it to the parents.
5. A student is bullying someone
Let me get this straight. Bullying is unwanted but still common in schools. But there are ways that we can spot and prevent bullying in the classroom.
I just can’t imagine having a kid in my class who cries because he’s a victim of an opportunist. This can hurt me as well as my students are like my children. Of course, as a mother in the classroom, I couldn’t bear it.
I might really get furious but I have to deal with it positively in order not to make things complicated.
How to deal with it
As a teacher, it is your responsibility to make your classroom healthy and safe learning space. Then, you must safeguard each kid from bullying.
You must cultivate a climate of dignity and respect in the classroom in addition to consistently identifying and responding to bullying.
You can discuss bullying in the classroom, especially its consequences. Deal with empathetic techniques and ignite the emotional intelligence of your students. In other words, your students should understand the whole nature of bullying and how it is addressed.
Another way is to be visible in bullying hot spots in school such as hallways and cafeterias. Make sure your students notify you and there should be adequate security at your school in any area where bullying usually occurs.
Best of all, you have to include the parents in your anti-bullying initiatives. Raise awareness by conducting PTA conferences and social media informational campaigns. Then, be it known that bullying is not tolerated and there are sanctions for it.
6. Students repeatedly violate school rules and policies
The school should be a safe place for every student. That is why school rules and regulations reign and be implemented strictly. However, despite close supervision and monitoring, there are still students who violate rules and regulations.
When this happens frequently and almost every day, well, we can’t tolerate such misbehavior. We really get angry, but we just express it in a less offensive manner. Still, we value private conversations and discussions.
The occurrence of unlawful and disruptive behavior should not be condoned. The staff at our school uphold a safe and healthy learning environment to safeguard the well-being of everyone.
If a student is caught vandalizing any school property, then the problem should be addressed immediately.
How to deal with it
The school should include in the orientation the school code and conduct and distribute student handbooks.
Moreover, teachers and staff should equitably enforce the rules and regulations of the school.
Meanwhile, as teachers, we should integrate into our lessons the value of courtesy and respect. Then, we should warn them about intentional lying, using foul language, or disobeying school officials.
7. Students are unprepared
One of the reasons why teachers burst into anger is when students are unprepared. It’s like when they’re assigned to bring materials needed for an experiment or when they are to have a presentation or a long test. And they’re not ready.
I have also experienced this with my students. My expectations collapsed and I was disappointed that I gave a sermon. In fact, it was lengthy.
“What? You’re not ready? Who is the group leader?”… And it all went long. I was angry.
How to deal with it
Well, of course, I usually give my students a second chance, but only after hearing my ‘words of enlightenment and not ‘words of humiliation’. I have to remind them about being responsible. I always encourage my students to assume responsibility for their own learning and so they have to be attentive, especially in their performance.
In an instance that this happened, according to them, they forgot to prepare the activity as they had no time after class. They weren’t able to meet and some of their classmates or groupmates hurried home.
So, I presumed, they needed more time. And so I gave them a chance to do it. I gave them time but I was there. I watched and supervised.
Anyway, teaching requires a lot of patience and consideration. Our students can make improvements over time.
Since we usually give assignments, like studying a lesson in advance or making presentations of the current lesson to be presented the next day, we have to remind these students to be mindful of their tasks. So when they come to class unprepared, our expectations melt and it can make us feel angry.
Don’t just hand out assignments. Maybe students come to school unprepared because the lessons are vague and irrelevant. We must check the relevance of what they’re learning and what they’re doing.
One more thing, we should not rely on just one form of assessment. Remember, our students are diverse. We should give them the proper motivation for task completion.
8. Students cheat
A few times in my years of teaching, I did have students who cheated. It began glancing at another’s paper. Simple, yet it has to stop. It can’t be tolerated.
When students cheat on exams, for example, I perceive something must be wrong. It’s either the student finds the subject difficult and needs remediation or it’s because of his study habits.
Whatever the reason, it’s our responsibility to find out. And since we are to foster responsible student learning, acts of cheating must be addressed properly.
In my experience, students are more likely to cheat because they come to school unprepared and it’s another challenge for us. Also, some students resort to cheating because they’re so driven by grades.
They have this mindset that they should get higher grades for whatever reason they have. As a result, they aren’t learning-oriented.
How to deal with it
When considering how to respond to cheating students, teachers must consider not only punishing but also correcting their behavior. Merely imposing unfavorable consequences for cheating without addressing the underlying causes of the behavior can lead to students becoming more devious cheaters.
Moreover, when we caught our students cheating, we should initiate a private conversation with the students concerned and help them realize that they have to take responsibility for their actions. The confrontation should be made private and we should avoid shaming.
Let’s just present the consequences of the cheating act and that there’s no way that we can tolerate such misbehavior in our class. The private talk after class can help us know why the students cheat and we can give our pieces of advice. Remember, even though we’re furious upon seeing our students cheating, we should take control of our emotions and not humiliate the student.
Maintain a serious and calm attitude and avoid expressing anger publicly. Accusing a student of cheating will almost certainly result in willful ignorance.
<<<Rita Pierson has been angry too. Now, let’s see how she had a productive conversation with her student. Let’s learn from her approach.
Best advice: When we lose our temper, humans, as we are, we should not lose our sensibility and yell at our students. As much as possible, we should avoid exhibiting inappropriate behavior and deal with problems in school professionally.
- We should respond positively.
- We should not yell and show sarcasm.
- Be more patient.
- Be self-reflective as well.
- Don’t ever let your students know that you also have bad days. Keep your cool and control your temper.
- Don’t ever, ever storm out no matter what the situation is.
On the whole
I may have overlooked many more reasons that are beyond the teacher’s control. As you can see, we teachers can get angry for some sort of reason. And they are indeed very reasonable.
But what matters most is we know how to deal with it. We know how to handle our anger so it may not paralyze the whole class.
It’s critical for us teachers to remember that we are not just teaching lessons or the curriculum, but rather students, on real people. Therefore, we must be more patient and considerate and don’t make an outburst of anger immediately.
What we do as teachers has an impact on our students’ lives. Let us assist them in becoming lifelong learners.