Classroom Management

Planted: September 1, 2022
Last tended: February 25, 2023

I. Prompt

Have any of you ever had little boys in classes you teach look at you & make orgasm noises? How do you react?

As a sub, I have & I find it really inappropriate. At first, I was afraid to call attention to it because I didn’t want it to continue & I was hoping they’d get bored.

But, it definitely makes me remember them…not in a good way…. It feels like sexual harassment…I mean, can you imagine an adult doing that to you?

It makes me dislike the boys who do it & I find myself monitoring them more than other boys & getting more angry at them for other misbehaviors they do and sending them down to the office more or asking admin for help with them.


It’s much harder for a sub since you are not there consistently and they will be opportunistic.

That being said, you get what you tolerate.

Every time a student does something inappropriate in your class that you do not address is giving them permission to continue doing it.

If it happened in my class, I would stop the class and just be honest with them. It’s the same with any kind of malicious compliance. Just gotta call them out on it. You ever have those kids being jerks by doing things that aren’t “technically” against the rules but are doing it just to be an asshole? Like when you get a class quiet and then the kid whose parents don’t love them decides that they will make obnoxious sounds to get under your skin (vocal noises, tapping things, etc) ? Then you call them out on it and they say “I was just coughing/tapping my pencil/whatever” and then they do the surprised pikachu face and act like they were being innocent and then act like a victim? Yea you handle that the same way.

Define the behavior. “I know what you are doing. You are making sexually explicit sounds and it is wildly inappropriate. You are making myself and others in this class uncomfortable and it is a form of sexual harassment. You aren’t being cool. You aren’t being funny. You are being a jerk.”

Make them aware of the consequence. “If it happens again it will be a referral/call home/detention” or whatever you choose or think is appropriate.

Then move on to the most important steps. Follow through immediately with anything you threaten the second it happens again. Even if it’s uncomfortable for you or it becomes extra work. Drop the hammer on them. If it’s multiple kids and you don’t know exactly which ones, pick one and make an example of them. They will try to play the victim “But THEY were doing it too! Why aren’t they getting in trouble?” Don’t engage. Don’t feed the trolls. Don’t argue with a child. You are the adult, give the consequence. You don’t need to explain yourself any further or engage their interpretation of what is happening. It is YOUR classroom, not theirs. So many teachers don’t realize that they abdicate their own authority by arguing with children. Arguing with a child sends the message that you are on the same level as them and it validates their disrespect of you. More insidiously it wastes class time and creates an “us vs. them” scenario which the rest of the class is watching. Even when other kids feel the same as the teacher they will take the side of the student in situations like that. You will literally push the other kids to support the class asshole instead of you if you get into drawn out fights with students in your class. Even if you “win” you are losing.

Finally, you have to understand why the kid is being an asshole in class. They do it for one or all of these reasons (in my order of likelihood):

  1. They are trying to make their friends laugh.
  2. They are trying to get under your skin and get a reaction out of you.
  3. They do dumb shit to protect their ego because they are scared that everyone will realize that they simply aren’t capable of doing the classwork. It’s a coping mechanism for failure that doesn’t end with them being labeled as being legitimately less intelligent than their peers.
  4. They have no self control and are being obnoxious, but not malicious.

Knowing this, it is very important to never allow them to ruffle your feathers. Don’t blow your cool. Don’t yell or scream. Don’t escalate with them.

When the kids realize that they aren’t getting the reactions that they wanted it takes a lot of the fun away. When they realize that they aren’t going to “win” with you, which to them means derailing class, making a scene, or making you upset without personal consequence, then the behavior will stop.

Be honest, be firm, be consistent. Then you have the student stay after class for a minute for a one on one talk and be honest with them. Not to yell at or punish them. Be real with them and talk to them like an adult. Non emotional, non judgmental.

“Hey, you understand why I had to give you a referral, yea?”

Based on their response just let them know how you see it as the teacher and why it is a problem. Let them know why it is important to you that it stops. Ask questions.

“Look, it’s my job to make sure everyone in that class is able to learn and do their work. I need to be able to focus on teaching and other students need to focus on learning. When you are being a jerk like that in class neither of those things can happen. Was I out of line by asking you to stop? Did you stop when I asked you nicely the first time? Why did you continue doing that after I nicely asked you to stop? (Really listen). Can you understand that if you make the choice to not follow rules and stop when I ask you to that you left me no other choice in how to handle this?” etc. Then send them to class and tell them “Can we have a better day tomorrow? I don’t like doing this stuff, I just want to teach and help you learn and be successful.” Then the next day give them a fist bump or friendly hello and smile when they walk into class to start off with a positive note. This shows them that there is a clean slate and that you aren’t punishing them for the day before or holding grudges. You still like them.

Now, all of this is heavily dependent on how you talk to the kid. Are you being condescending? Are you being a bitch or an asshole to them (even if they deserve it in the moment)? Are you being fake? This will probably not work if you don’t handle it like this from the very beginning of the year. If you are a bitch to the kids and you have been screaming at them for half a year then this kind of stuff will not work.

This makes the kids like you more. This makes you like them more. When kids like you they are more likely to do what you ask. This is the “relationship building” that administrators are referring to that has turned into a meme on this sub from mostly shit teachers who are frustrated because they don’t understand basic human interaction and need a scapegoat for their lack of classroom management.

Hope this helps. Sorry, long post. Context: I teach middle school at a title one school where I am a minority. Decade+ of experience and exceptional results, especially relative to my area and school.


Website ||

User(s) || HugDispenser

Subreddit || Teachers

Date || July 17th, 2022

Discussion Link


Rarely-Asked Question:

I’m about to become a teacher. How can I be a good one?


The best teachers I remember from school had three things in common:

(1) They had high standards. Like three year olds testing their parents, students will test teachers to see if they can get away with low-quality work or bad behavior. They won’t respect the teachers who don’t call them on it.

(2) They liked us. Like dogs, kids can tell very accurately whether or not someone wishes them well. I think a lot of our teachers either never liked kids much, or got burned out and started not to like them. It’s hard to be a good teacher once that happens. I can’t think of one teacher in all the schools I went to who managed to be good despite disliking students.

(3) They were interested in the subject. Most of the public school teachers I had weren’t really interested in what they taught. Enthusiasm is contagious, and so is boredom.


Author(s) || Paul Graham

Website ||

Article || RAQs

Date || June 14th, 1998


tags: [“evergreen”]

contributors: ["HugDispenser", “Paul Graham”]

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