Anger Management Tips
These anger management tips are vital for assertive discipline. They are the best anger management techniques I know, to let you control your class. If you think that only pupils need anger management tips, think again. It is your emotional control that allows you to really practice assertive discipline.
Anger management for children has become a cliché in schools. Certain children have to routinely troop off for their ‘anger management’ lessons.
In my view, teachers would benefit just as much, if not more from some anger management techniques. For some because they are angry and cannot control it and others because try as they might, simply can’t get angry and are, in layman’s terms ‘too nice’.
I am writing about anger because I fell into the latter category and finding my ‘inner rage’ was the best thing I ever did as a teacher!
So this section will comprise two sections: anger management tips for both the angry and the non-angry!
Anger Management for the Angry
I think that the key to anger management training for the angry is in understanding the following principles:
If you are getting genuinely angry with a kid then it’s probably your fault for not having observed the following principles. So try not to blame the kids, but instead follow these principles:
1. Kids don’t usually mean what they say and do personally, they are simply having fun trying to lower your STATUS, so don’t take it personally or make it personal.
2. When dealing with pupils remember to criticize the behaviour not the pupil. For more on this, see
3. Have a flexible approach to behaviour and treat each pupil as an individual. Try to avoid alienating a whole class if only one or two ringleaders are genuinely at fault. Remember to praise those who are doing what you ask.
4. Be aware that pupils are very sensitive to vocal tone and body langauge. You may be communicating anger inappropriately, even without realizing it. It can literally be leaking out of you and damaging your relationships unnecessarily.
In case you are wondering, none of the above suggest that you should not be ‘strict’ or enforce the rules. By saying ‘it may be your fault’, I’m not suggesting either that all misbehaviour is the fault of the teacher. I am not in the business of teacher bashing but I am in the business of suggesting that the more responsibility that you take for the results that you create in class (and in life if the truth be told) then the more successful you will be. This is one of the ultimate anger management tips!
Conversely, the more likely you are to blame the pupils, the less likely you are to bother developing a more sensitive, differentiated approach.
For example I have seen teachers get into needless conflicts with the same pupils again and again, becoming angrier and angrier often because they simply cannot control their own emotions.
The pupil is perfectly in control and enjoying watching the emotional reaction that they are producing; in fact often laughing at the entertainment they have created.
If you refuse to be their entertainment, and practice your own anger management, you will have to exercise control and you may begin to think of it more in terms of the
transactions going on and how you can raise your own status.
Think of this aspect of anger management training more like a game of chess than as a battle and you will make your moves in a more thoughtful and effective manner.
Anger Management for the Non-Angry
For the terminally non-angry amongst you, almost the opposite applies in terms of anger management tips! I too was brought up in a happy home where there was little anger or shouting. I avoided arguments. I was nice to people. I was basically passive.
What a disaster!
The problem that the non-angry person has is that they simply cannot express anger because subconsciously they see it as an unacceptable reaction to any situation. And there is only one solution in your anger management training:
You have to properly loose it with a kid.
It may only need to happen once, maybe more. The point is, you do not have that neural pathway in your brain and you have to create it or risk never being taken seriously by your pupils because you lack ‘teeth’.
Most of the time, like the big cats, you may only need to show them but they have to be there.
This anger management tip is simple. Isolate your target (don’t give them an audience) and go for it. Any reaction other than laughter on their part will constitute success. The first time I lost it with a kid, my colleagues could hear me from two corridors away.
However the result convinced me that my approach had been the correct one. The next time that I saw this pupil his attitude towards me had changed completely and I no longer had any behaviour problems with him at all.
Of course this anger management tip was a lesson for me in life as well. Somewhere in my subconscious, this experience helped me to create a 'line in the sand' that no-one could cross with me.
Part of the reason that I had been so passive in my life and my career was that I had had no boundaries. I could not say 'no' to either friends, colleagues, or students.
Nowadays, if you upset me, you'll know about it. Anger has become something that I feel comfortable expressing as I know that I can control and channel it to reinforce boundaries that others may try to cross.
To move from Anger Management Tips to Home, click here