When Students Swear at You

It’s shocking! You’re not expecting a student to swear at you, but it happens. What do you do? The most important thing is to stay calm. Don’t take it personally. It isn’t about you – it’s about the student’s inability to handle the situation. They are upset and need you to help.

It’s best to calmly state that you understand they are angry and don’t want to do what you’ve asked. You can suggest that they take a walk and get a drink and come back when they are calm. If you have asked them to stop doing something dangerous and they are not stopping, of course, you can get help from a nearby teacher or call the office. Again, it’s important to remain calm.

This is very difficult and so role playing with someone to practice and prepare is a good idea. Even going over it in your mind – what you will do if this happens, is a good idea, so you are ready.

After someone swears at you, especially if it was scary, you may need to take some time to process and to talk with someone about it. Remember, you’ve done your best in a difficult situation and we live and learn.


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