Classroom Discipline and Inappropriate Language

It seems that in today’s world, many classroom discipline issues revolve around students using foul language. If you’ve ever dealt with this problem, you have likely realized that traditional discipline techniques do virtually nothing to stop it from reoccurring. Therefore, here’s what I suggest teachers do.

First, discuss the words “appropriate” and “inappropriate.” For example, pajamas are not worn to school, you no longer drink from a baby bottle, and you don’t yell at your parents if you want something from them. These are simply inappropriate behaviors. Similarly, when inappropriate or foul language is used at school, it is an attempt to gain favor or show off. Everyone seeks, desires, and wants feelings of competency, importance, and wishes to be liked.

Continue to explain that, unfortunately, the immature person who uses inappropriate language is operating at level C—Conformity—using inappropriate language because the person believes it is the “in” thing to do—to conform to the peer group. The person believes esteem will be gained with peers, not even realizing that the person is being manipulated by external motivation. In essence, the person becomes a victim by allowing peers to define the appropriateness of the person’s language.

With this introduction, put the topic on the table for discussion. After this little reflection exercise, you will see dramatic improvements, resulting in fewer classroom discipline issues.