Nothing is more disruptive to an effective learning environment than a frustrated, angry, or aggressive student. A single student whose emotions are out of control can sabotage the learning of an entire classroom of students. A variety of strategies and programs have been developed to help teachers deal with what many consider to be the Number 1 threat to classroom management -- the angry student.
Learn More About Anger Management
Education World has posted a number of articles on strategies and techniques for dealing with frustrated, angry, or aggressive students, including:
Author Aims to Help Children Manage Anger
Laura Fox's book, I Am So Angry I Could Scream: Helping Children Deal With Anger, tells the story of a long, frustrating day for a little girl who finally loses her temper. A sympathetic aunt shows her how to list what makes her angry, why those things make her angry, and how she can use her anger in positive ways. Included: A summary of My Anger Chart, which helps children identify and address issues that make them angry.
When It Comes to Volatile Kids, Pick Your Battles
Dr. Ross W. Greene is a psychologist who works with easily frustrated children and their parents, and the author of The Explosive Child. Greene, who recently spoke at the Maryland School Psychologists Association annual conference, advises parents and teachers that identifying the causes of a child's frustration and working with the youngster to develop coping skills can lead to fewer explosions and more compliance. Included: Strategies for working with explosive children in the classroom.
Defusing Explosive Children
Children who react to transitions and frustration by screaming, becoming defiant, or even hitting others can try the patience of both parents and teachers -- and throw a class into turmoil. According to psychologist Ross W. Greene, the key to working with such children is helping them stay in control to keep outbursts from occurring. Included: Tips for preventing explosions in easily frustrated children.
Teaching Self Control
Martin Henley has created a curriculum for teaching students the self-control skills they need to control impulses, manage group situations, and adapt to school routines. The Teaching Self-Control curriculum includes role-plays, simulations, learning center activities, and children's literature that can be used to teach those skills. Included: Twenty self-control skills all children need.
Preventing Student Aggression
Aggressive students present a significant challenge for teachers. An aggressive child can engender a climate of fear in the classroom, creating anxiety among other students and distracting them from their schoolwork. The student who is the cause of that fear also warrants your concern. Her aggressive behavior might signal that she is a troubled child and/or cause her to be shunned by her peers; it also might be a harbinger of problems she will display as an adolescent and adult. Find out how to prevent classroom aggression in Dr. Ken Shore's Classroom Problem Solver.
Dealing With Student Aggression
In dealing with a student who is acting aggressively toward his classmates, you want to send a strong message that aggressive behavior will not be tolerated in your classroom. In addition, you want to help him develop more appropriate ways of settling disputes with his peers. Be sure, however, to avoid harsh punishment or humiliation. Harshly disciplining an aggressive student might fuel his anger and make him more determined to continue the aggressive behavior. Learn how to deal with the aggressive student in Dr. Ken Shore's Classroom Problem Solver.
Angry Outbursts, Part 1
At some point, almost every student becomes angry in school. Anger isn't a problem as long as the student expresses her feelings appropriately. It is a problem, however, if she expresses her anger in a way that is hurtful to her peers or disruptive to the class. A student who displays angry outbursts can throw a classroom into turmoil. She also can trigger strong feelings in you. Your challenge in working with a student whose emotional temperature often reaches the boiling point is to control your own feelings as well as those of the student. Discover how in Dr. Ken Shore's Classroom Problem Solver.
Angry Outbursts, Part 2
An angry student might display his temper in a variety of ways. He might be unresponsive to the teacher, disengaged from the learning process, and withdrawn from his peers. Seemingly minor matters can trigger his anger, causing him to fly off the handle with little provocation and to lash out at the drop of a hat. A younger child might express his anger through a full-blown tantrum accompanied by kicking and screaming. Those behaviors can be upsetting to classmates and disturbing to a teacher. Dr. Ken Shore explains how to deal with a student who is losing control in this Classroom Problem Solver.
Learning to Tap Away Stress, Anger
In Dr. Lynne Namka's book, Good Bye Ouchies and Grouchies, Hello Happy Feelings, Namka describes how teachers and parents can use tapping and reflection to help children release unhappy feelings.