Everyday Tips & Tricks

“10 reasons it doesn’t work for teachers to yell at students”

If school hasn’t started back for you already, it is soon to start. With all the joys and successes also come the hiccups we have to deal with. We always cross our fingers that we got a good teacher this year, though sometimes we really don’t get one that meshes with our child. We have all experienced the “yelling teacher.” Whether it was a specific teacher that came to mind in our own life, or we are now dealing with it through our own children, one thing we can agree on is that students don’t respond favorably to the “mean teacher.”

Everyone has their own ideas of what appropriate discipline is in their homes. Unfortunately, when it comes to classroom behavior we are at the mercy of leaving our child in the care of a teacher, however incompetent they may be in dealing with normal stresses. When we encounter a person in our adult life that tries to demean us, or yell at us we can handle things much differently. We have the strength and ability to quit our jobs, complain to human resources, or stand up to them in anyway we feel appropriate. Children, especially grade school aged, truly feel like there is nothing they can do. When a child is yelled at in front of the class they internalize it and it causes a great deal of stress for them.

Sitting in a classroom where a teacher is trying to yell them into compliance is absolutely asinine. Though some children mind it less than others, it really is abuse, an abuse of power. No teacher should frightened and demean students in a classroom. Regardless of the reason a teacher gives for their outbursts, it’s really only a symptom of their poor classroom management. Child psychology says again and again that there is nothing to gain from raising your Voice above a normal level. When a teacher yells at their students, they aren’t communicating, they are losing their ability to communicate correctly and in a way that students will connect with and respond to.

Yelling and humiliating students shows a great loss of control and is a terrible model for children. Teachers with outbursts cannot punish them into better grades on a test, but they are teaching them how to behave when they don’t get what they want. Students in a classroom should always know exactly what is expected of them and what is the consequence if those expectations aren’t meant. This creates a world where children feel safe in the classroom and are able to thrive to the best of their abilities. Yelling however creates hostility and resentment as it is a tactic of intimidation and makes children feel worthless.

Unfortunately for parents it also can seem hopeless. This isn’t the fight for your child to take up, it is absolutely the parents responsibility to take proper action. If your child is coming home upset and distressed because of A teacher who cannot control yourself perhaps it is time to have a meeting. Generally teachers that have angry outbursts are not as receptive so request a meeting with the principal present as well. The right channels to take continue all the way to the school board. Let them know that you don’t find their behavior acceptable and don’t appreciate their demeaning behavior.

Top ten reasons that yelling at students doesn’t work.

1. You’re a bully. Yelling is a temporary release of frustrations. It is not a tactic of positive reinforcement which has been proven to help children succeed. Yelling is an intimidation tactic that uses authority as a way to gain compliance

2. It just doesn’t work. Children behave better when they want to behave better. Yelling causes more miss behavior as students learn to resent their teacher. Good behavior is the result of accountability not threats.

3. You become to bad guy. It doesn’t take much to get the reputation as the teacher no one wants to have. When students begin to dislike you they will be more apt to disrupt. Just like anything else it’s better to have more people on your side then not.

4. You aren’t teaching. When you are yelling you aren’t teaching anything but negative behavior. Students learned that as long as they can endure your ridiculous outbursts, they won’t be held accountable for their actions afterwards.

5. Students aren’t held accountable. If a student gets a poor grade no amount of yelling will make them want to study more, in fact the opposite will happen. Instead of real life consequences like poor grades and parent conferences, your students will just be angry and resentful. Instead of reflecting on their work, they will be reflecting on how much they hate you.

6. They stop listening. By yelling you are teaching children to tune you out as much as possible. Before you know it the only way you will get your class to listen to you is through yelling, because you have taught them that’s the only time you want to be listened to.

7.It causes stress for everyone. Not only is an adult yelling at children a stressful situation, but it shows that you are unable to handle the stress of being a teacher and dealing with students. Not only is it bad for the health of your class, but it is bad for your health as well. you cannot focus on teaching when you are brimming with frustration.

8. Now I’m pissed. A teacher that yells at students is probably at the top of the list of complaints that parents can have. It’s pretty hard for a teacher to defend the fact that they are yelling at their students. You are supposed to be the example, not the one that deserves the lecturing.

9.It’s tacky. This isn’t 1950. It’s not your job to hit students over the knuckles with a roller. It just makes you look like an idiot. You are showing the students, and anyone else that you don’t have control over your class and don’t know how to handle it.

10. You are a terrible example. Children are always much more influenced by what you do then what you say. When you are yelling at them day in and day out you give them a model for how to behave when things don’t go exactly as they would like them to. It’s a real headache for a child to come home and a parent to have to help their child unlearn a negative traits they are learning from their teacher.

I am not trying to be so negative myself, but this is extremely frustrating for a parent. I have always been interested in progressive child psychology and it always boils down to the fact that yelling is an ineffective way to get control. If you are a parent I hope this stands as a testament that you aren’t alone and gives you some ideas of possible recourse. If you are a teacher, please be aware that you will be held accountable for how you act. There are millions of parents out there just like me that are figuring out what their next plan of action will be to deal with your immaturity.

Final thoughts…

Everyone gets frustrated, I get it. However, if you choose to be a teacher, yelling should not be an option for you. You might feel like it works momentarily, but the cost is at the expense of your credibility. Instead of letting yourself become the teacher with a reputation of being mean, why not be the teacher that children want to have?

Start by creating a classroom management plan that works and make sure you stick to it. Work on building positive relationships with the students you have in your classroom and create the kind of atmosphere that makes them want to behave. talk to your administrators if you feel like you need help managing your classroom.

If you are a parent, don’t just admit defeat. Your children are worth so much more. School days are a pivotal time in forming who a child is and how they will react. One bad teacher can sabotage they are chances for success further on in school. You aren’t alone, and you don’t have to sit on the sidelines.




  • k on November 18, 2015

    I breathed a sigh of relief at not finding the term “helicopter parent” anywhere in this article. Thank goodness someone else can see this problem for what it is an example of-not overprotective parents, but simply inappropriate behavior. If one doesn’t yell at other adults to get them to cooperate, why would one yell at a child? It shows the same thing-immaturity and a lack of control.

    • Dad on November 18, 2015

      Nailed it! Thanks for commenting.

  • Dan Lampkin on April 25, 2016

    so what do you do if a teacher (or worse the principle) yells at your child? My son was talking when he shouldn’t have been, so punish him and move on. He had to go to the office for his punishment and the principle yelled at him, scared him half to death. He was so scared that he pulled out his phone and called me, in tears. The teacher (and superintendent)’s reply is that he shouldn’t have put himself in the position to be yelled at. I am furious. I have caught 4 teachers flat out lying to me. One I finally caught on a recorded phone call. When I show it to them they start making excuses and stories. I’m ready to write every institution and agency I can, but want to know what the best thing to do is?

    • Dad on May 1, 2016

      Sorry to hear this! Start working your way up the chain of command. Superintendent, school board, however it has to be handled. I really support teachers, but like anyone else, they work for us and have to be held accountable, especially with the minds of our children. If your child was wronged, you are their biggest advocate, no reason to stop the fight until you feel justice has been done. Best of luck.


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