Anger Management Strategies for the Classroom
Helpful strategies to help young learners discover constructive ways to deal with anger management.
By Emily Cherry
Teaching students how to deal with anger, and coping with their peers, isn’t often in the typical curriculum, but it is one of the things that is essential to a positive classroom environment. Teaching anger management strategies is important to creating a safe, successful classroom environment. Anger is often born out of frustration, so I have found that implementing some simple procedures will help pupils to feel successful in my classroom.
Classroom Structure Can Lead to Success
I structure my class so that pupils know what to expect on a daily basis. While this isn't necessarily an anger management strategy, it helps them to feel confident. On the first day of school, I am careful to set up rules and expectations for the school year. By adhering to rules of respect, consideration, and cooperation, students know what my expectation is of them and what they can expect from me.
Cooling-Off Strategies to Diffuse a Situation
When I sense a student getting frustrated, I always try to remove that individual from the situation in order to give him/her a cooling off period. When I see someone getting angry, frustrated, or starting to melt down—the first thing I try to do is to remove him or her from the situation. Just simply taking someone outside to talk, or having them walk to the restroom, often gives them the breathing room to look at the situation more objectively and return with a cooler head.
The Teacher as a Model for Behavior
As a teacher, it is my job to demonstrate effective anger management techniques. When I am working with a pupil who is angry or upset, I always try to model the correct behavior. Simple things like teaching kids to use “I” statements in describing their feelings is important. By making “I” statements, I show my learners that I am responsible for my feelings and actions, just as they are responsible for their own feelings and actions.
Being a Good Listener
If one of my learners is angry, it is important for me to model being a good listener. When someone in my class is angry or frustrated, I give them a safe venue to express themselves and to articulate what they are upset about. Feeling like they are being heard seems to allow angry kids to cool down faster. I always try to make eye contact and show my students that I understand what they are saying, even if I don’t agree with them.
Create a Communication System
If I am having frequent problems with one particular individual, I discuss these issues with them, but I also talk with his/her parents. Sometimes the student’s behavior is a direct result of problems at home. By enlisting the parents, and working collaboratively to help the child, we can find a solution.
Everyone feels anger at some point. It is important for students to acknowledge that they are angry or upset and to explore the causes. Teaching is not always about curriculum, but also about helping pupils deal with emotions and problems. It is better to have a few strategies in your arsenal to deal effectively with these issues, than it is to be caught off-guard. Here are some additional lessons to help you with anger management strategies.
Anger Management Strategies:
Teach your scholars different strategies to effectively and positively deal with anger.
Pupils identify frustration and anger in comics. They work together to recreate comics to utilize anger management strategies.