Thursday, November 6, 2014


Top Ten WORST Class Management Techniques

I write a lot about classroom management because I feel it is an important topic for so many teachers. If you are a great teacher, but you can't control a classroom, your students will never learn. If you are an adequate teacher with great classroom control, then your students will probably learn more.

I know it can be frustrating. I am not a big praying person, but when I teach...I pray about twice a day. Once is usually a devotional, it tends to be positive, "Bless this room and all who walk in it to open them up to learning."Then, there are the prayers that are a bit more negative, "Dear Lord give me the patience not to react to this students goading. Help me understand that they are young, and I am the responsible adult who should not react poorly."

I have posts about great classroom management books, props to use, and general ideas to quiet a room. This post is different. This post will tell you what NOT to do. It uses examples found online via newspapers.

1. Don't use fear! There are reports of some students who were told there was a monster in a closet and then locked in their when they misbehaved. The students often shouted and cried (sometimes to the point of puking) while the teacher kept the door shut. See the related news piece here

2. Don't threaten to get physical Even if you have no intent of following through this is not why you want students to listen. One teacher was put on probation for threatening to stab her students with a fruit knife she kept in her desk drawer according to this article.

3. Don't get jokingly physical! Even if you are trying to be amusing, slapping or hitting a student is NEVER acceptable. In this article the teacher actually slapped a student several times trying to allude to the recent movie Bridesmaids.

4. Especially don't get seriously physical. I know that violence can seem like the best answer in the heat of the moment, but how can we expect our students to pick another path if we ourselves can't. Here's one example of a student who was punched by his teacher.

5. Don't spit on them ... really? I need to say this? While it can be hard sometimes, spitting is never the answer.

6. Don't duct tape them to the chair. I know most teachers have that one student that just can't stay still. I understand how duct tape can, at times, be tempting, but more than one teacher has tried using duct tape in the class. One was accused of bullying, the other teacher was just said to have used an inappropriate technique.

7. Don't put them in a bag and leave them in the hallway. You can call it a "therapy bag," if you like, but putting students in a bag and then putting them out of your eyesight is not the best way to help a situation!

8. Don't have them wear a doggie cone. I see some online memes that joke about this too, but I think we can all are that there are better options for classroom management before even considering a doggie cone.

9. Don't strip search them. When I was in high school one of the dress code rules was no thongs. This was clearly rarely enforced as no teacher was going to request to see your underwear. One third grade teacher felt strip searching a student was acceptable.

As you can see this list is only at nine right now. If you have another technique you have read about, seen or heard about let me know! I'd love to get your feedback.


  1. Seriously? These things actually happen?

    As for the worst class management techniques I've ever used ... I'd have to say I-Messages vs. You-Messages. We had been given very few class management techniques in university in this was one of them. And then I came to an actual classroom believing I'm fit for it. Now mind you - my first school was something like a public school in the projects. Do I need to say more? :) Now I'm not saying this technique is harmful, it just doesn't have any effect whatsoever. However, it was kind of harmful FOR ME because I trusted it would work and stuck to it instead of giving something else a try.

    1. Oh the wondrerful world of learning that what university taught you doesn't always help! I agree that these messages aren't bad.. but not always helpful

  2. Great post - all things I've seen in the news. Makes you wonder!


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