School-Based Intervention Idea from


Keep Responses Calm, Brief, and Businesslike  (Mayer, 2000; Sprick, Borgmeier, & Nolet, 2002)

Because teacher sarcasm or lengthy negative reprimands can trigger defiant student behavior, instructors should respond to the student in a 'neutral', business-like, calm voice.

Also, keep responses brief when addressing the non-compliant student. Short teacher responses give the defiant student less control over the interaction and can also prevent instructors from inadvertently 'rewarding' misbehaving students with lots of negative adult attention.


Mayer, G.R. (2000). Classroom management: A California resource guide. Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles County Office of Education. Retrieved September 29, 2003, from

Sprick, R. S., Borgmeier, C., & Nolet, V. (2002). Prevention and management of behavior problems in secondary schools. In M. A. Shinn, H. M. Walker & G. Stoner (Eds.), Interventions for academic and behavior problems II: Preventive and remedial approaches (pp.373-401). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.

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