Control Student Defiance in Your Classroom in 5 Quick Steps

student defiance

Student Defiance

Student defiance is one of the most difficult misbehaviours to manage in a classroom. If left unchecked, student defiance can be a destructive and,potentially, career ending classroom influence.​

Managing Student Defiance in Your Classroom

Here are 5 quick ways to manage student defiance in your classroom

Understanding Student Defiance


Defiant students.

  • Disrupt the teaching learning paradigm of your classroom;
  • Are usually poor achievers:
  • Seem difficult to motivate towards learning

I wish there was an easy answer but, regretfully, there doesn't seem to be.

Often, the very reason students are defiant is completely out of your control. Teachers do no set the moral compass of students. That is set by parents, their individual community, circumstances and the company they keep.

We are, however, expected to manage students whose moral parameters are askew. There are some strategies that quite often make defiant students more easy to manage in the classroom. Long term difference might take a longer action plan.

When you are relief teaching, you really need a day without student defiance and just a little cooperation.

Managing student defiance.

Research shows some techniques seem to work better than others.

Start Your Day on a Positive


Start with forgiveness, even if the student is continually defiant in your class.

Building a relationships with defiant students is difficult but not impossible.

You don't have to like the defiant student but you do have to care about their learning. Simple things like meeting the student with a greeting at the classroom door goes a long way to building a working relationship. Even a snarling dog will settle down if placated.

Dealing with student defiance follows the same principle. It is VERY EASY to be defiant if the object of defiance (YOU) is snarling as well.

It is much more difficult if the object of defiance is pleasant.

Such pleasantry also sends a message to the other 29 pairs of eyes watching your every move. You will get a big tick for professionalism and the defiant student will find less allies amongst the other students.

Dont Let the Little Things Turn BIG


Carry out proactive intervention.

Redirect the student defiance before it escalates. This may stop the misbehaviours.

Don't be hyper vigilant though as this often targets students.Look for positive interaction opportunities.

No doubt there will be some corrective action along the way.

Model Respectful Behaviours


Defiant students seldom see purposeful interaction in place.

Let your defiant student witness positive teacher-student interaction in practice.

After interacting with your better behaved students, initiate an interaction with your troubled student. Sometimes a flow on occurs with the positivity of the first interaction setting the tone for your interaction with your potential trouble maker.

This is a great way to manage student defiance because it reduces the friction of the interaction.

Get Back To Learning


Emphasise the point. The only reason you need better behaviour in your class is to improve the learning for all.

Defiant students are really not interested in making your life easier.

Forget the "I'm sick of your behaviour!... I've HAD IT!" type statements. They carry no weight and make little difference in managing student defiance.

The defiant student doesn't care about your feelings. Mentioning that misbehaviour is hindering a mate understanding the topic may carry more weight.

Have A Crisis Management Plan


Crisis Management

Quite often you will need to be the first responder in a crisis situation.

This is especially certain if the situation jeopardises the safety of others.

Every crisis is different.

Crisis management calls for a substantiated process of action. Develop a crisis management plan for all of these types of situation.

If you don't have one, use mine.

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