How to get students to listen without yelling

Whether you are frustrated with a not so cute class of 6 years old or a class of rowdy teenagers, yelling at your students can be a very costly mistake. Loosing your temper can often result in an immediate improvement in behavior but the overall problems are not going to go away. Consider the list below which will highlight to you the reasons why yelling is not the solution .

It does weaken your position

Yelling will cause students to dislike you and not trust you . It is better to have students on your side.

Only Temporarily makes class better

Yelling does produce quick results. It is a way of intimidating students into compliance . Long term the problems will continue or even get worse.

No altering of behavior

Students who alter their behavior only do so because they want to . ( Particularly in the case of Older Students)They will behave better for a teacher they like and trust.

Students only listen when you yell

If you yell the students will only learn to listen when you yell .The message you send is that you only mean something if you shout it .Otherwise they will tune out.

Poor role model

If you yell when frustrated then you are indicating to your students that this is the correct way to handle conflict .

Steps to take to prevent reaching the yelling point:

Set Rules

Make sure that your students know from the first day that you teach them that you have a set of rules and that you stick to them .Students do need to know what is expected of them .

Post the rules clearly in the front of your classroom .If you are teaching younger students who use your class as a home room then refer to these rules often.

Even the more senior grades from 10 to 12 will benefit from reminders of rules.

Advantage of Regular Routines.

This is particularly important when maintaining classroom control in elementary grades.

Explain clearly and practice these routines with your students .Routine helps students to know what to expect and how to behave in given situations .

Maintain high expectations .

Make it clear to students that if they do not adhere to your rules and routines that there will be consequences . It is important that they are accountable for their actions . If for an example a student is mistreating a piece of school equipment then just quietly take it away from them whilst substituting it with something that will make their lessons harder . For example abusing a calculator can result in a student having to work out simple sums on paper .

Importance of not talking over students .

It is important that students realize that when a person talks ,whether it is their teacher or a fellow classmate, that it is respectful to listen . The process works both ways .

Walk closer

A good technique when you may be frustrated and want to yell is to quietly walk closer to the student or class concerned and repeat your instructions in a quiet controlled way .Think about doing the complete opposite to yelling .Use as few words as possible .If necessary quietly turn and write a message to the class on the board .


Find a way that you can refocus your energy in the moment that will prevent you raising your voice .Write notes on a piece of paper . Consider what your triggers may be .It will then make it easier to identify and catch a feeling before it gets to the yelling stage.

Always remember ask yourself a question at the end of the lesson am I proud of the way I as a teacher behaved . If not think how you could have acted differently .

Yelling is not the answer.