Yelling. Blaming. Hateful words. Fighting. Crying. Emotional meltdowns and blowups from students are often unpredictable and always unsettling. Teachers attempting to control these behaviors can get caught up too in the emotion of the situation and lash out at students. When teachers allow their emotions to dictate their actions they find themselves in the Conflict Cycle. Rather than sharing and directing a student’s behavior in a positive direction, the opposite occurs. These teachers tend to get caught up in irrelevant details and useless discussion about blame, fairness, victimization, personality or some others peripheral “fact” that the student throws at them.
These distractions, or excuses, take the focus off the only issue that matters: the student’s out of control behavior.
Tips to help steady the course of dealing with a student’s emotional, escalation include:
- Recognizing the inappropriate behavior as an opportunity to teach a replacement skill.
- Do not match or escalate your own behaviors to that of the student. Self-care first.
- Stay focused on teaching to the behavior, both what was inappropriate and appropriate, despite your student’s efforts to deflect, derail, justify or excuse their actions or other extraneous issues.
- Use Corrective Strategies, such as Cool Down Time, Specific Praise, Empathy, Coupling statements (“You are pacing, please stand still while we talk”) to help calm the student instead of trying to “teach over” the intensifying, escalating behaviors which cause the student to be unavailable for thoughtful interaction.
- Develop a procedure and teach it beforehand that helps keep other students on task while you interact with the escalated student.
Taken from : Well Managed Schools