How to Respond to Hostile, Inappropriate Comments in Class
When hot moments ignite in the classroom, it is important to engage thoughtfully and purposively in strategies that maintain a supportive communication climate. Managing hot moments is a complex endeavor, and it is our responsibility to maintain a climate that is conducive to learning by not adding fuel to the fire. How to intervene when someone makes a blatantly inappropriate remark (Adapted from Obear, 2010): Ask clarifying questions to help you understand intentions.
- “I want to make sure I heard you correctly. Did you say…”
- If they disagree with your paraphrase, you could end the conversation. If you suspect they are trying to “cover their tracks,” you may consider making a statement about the initial comment.
- “I’m glad to hear I misunderstood you, because, as you know, such comments can be…”