Three Words We Should Remove From Our Teacher Vocabulary


  1. Seriously.
  2. Hello?!?
  3. Really?

When I was a squad leader years ago in my high school marching band, there was another squad leader who always yelled at her squad, “Move over…face forward…yah…heellllloooo??” Then, she would roll her eyes and make a frustrated noise. Her squad begrudgingly obeyed but did they enjoy the experience? I’ve always wondered.

All three of these words used in that way ensure sarcasm exists in the classroom. As a middle school teacher, I know our students love using these words. However, does it mean adults need to or should them with their students? Doesn’t that put us on the same playing field? How do we rise above sarcasm?

My thoughts…

  • Patience.
  • Ask what happened.
  • Redirect.
  • Take students aside to talk with them individually.
  • Research positive strategies to gain attention of classmates.
  • Vow to never use sarcasm knowing that–although kids might laugh it off–they are crying on the inside. Because what do these words imply- “What are you dumb or something?”

This post isn’t meant to be a deep theoretical post. I’m putting the thought out there. Can we remove these words from the classroom and will that create a better classroom environment?

I think so…what do you think? What are alternatives to sarcasm in the classroom? How do we communicate in positive ways to our students even when we are frustrated?

This is a nice article on how sarcasm can be hurtful in the classroom. Why Sarcasm is No Laughing Matter with Kids






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