Explain your behaviour

Put the onus on students to think about and explain their behaviour.


A student is presenting, sharing a point during a discussion, asking a question – suddenly someone interrupts, whispers in the background, yells out something to someone else. The student who was having a turn to speak has been shown disrespect by another. How do you approach this?

 Try This:

 Calmly ask the student who used the inappropriate behaviour to explain to the student who was talking why they choose to show them disrespect.

(Students name), please explain to (students name) why you have chosen to disrespect them and interrupt when it is their turn to speak.

Put the onus on the student to explain their disrespectful behaviour. Take yourself out of the situation.

Generally the teacher follows up – Please stop talking, it is not your turn to talk, use your manners please, don’t call out, please stop interrupting.


When you put the responsibility onto the student to explain their reason for showing disrespect directly to their classmate they quickly realise that you are making them fully responsible for their inappropriate behaviour.

  •  It is very uncomfortable having to explain your disrespectful attitude in front of everyone and to the person you have offended.
  •  Everyone quickly understands the consequences if you use this strategy every time.

Thank both students and continue on.


If the student will not explain their behavior or begins to blame others calmly say, ‘I am sorry you have chosen to fail but we will never give up on you!’

Continue on with the lesson.

Avoid getting into a discussion or argument. The student knows their behavior was inappropriate.

If you are using the Optimal Learning Spot strategy you can challenge the student, I see you have not chosen you OLS, please get it sorted.

Use Hands Down Wins techniques during discussion time and give every student the opportunity to participate.