School-Based Intervention Idea from


Emphasize the Positive in Teacher Requests  (Braithwaite, 2001)

When an instructor's request has a positive 'spin', that teacher is less likely to trigger a power struggle and more likely to gain student compliance.

Whenever possible, avoid using negative phrasing (e.g., "If you don't return to your seat, I canít help you with your assignment"). Instead, restate requests in positive terms (e.g., "I will be over to help you on the assignment just as soon as you return to your seat").


Braithwaite, R. (2001). Managing aggression. New York: Routledge.

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