Helping teachers have a greater impact on the lives of their students every day

Sarcasm – A Losing Battle – Today’s TNT (Tip for New Teachers)

chess piecesOne of the lessons I find a lot of new teachers learning the hard way is using sarcasm in the classroom.

It’s real easy to get into an “burn” contest with students. They may answer a question or make a comment in a way that opens them up to a great joke.

In the beginning it’s fun and light-hearted, but if the teacher lets it continue, it can get ugly.

This is what I tell my student teachers: Stay away from sarcasm. Trying to out-insult a student will only lead to problems.

Students don’t know how to admit defeat.

They will want to win, and since you’re the one with the quicker wit, their only option is to go over the line, talking about your weight or complexion or other out of bounds area,  and if you let them get away with that, then you’re opening yourself up to other students doing the same.

It’s better not to get started.

New teachers naturally want to be accepted by the students. They want to be liked – we all do, but you have to be careful when joking with students.

Don’t get me wrong. I like joking with my students, but when I see that they are beginning to make it a “burn” contest, I always end it with a, “good one,” and walk away. It may be tough on the ego, but it will be better for you in the long run.

It’s better to let them win early, than to be forced to remind them of the respect factor.

The teacher / student separation has to be maintained if you want to keep your classroom discipline program working.

What do you think? Have you had any experiences with sarcasm that has gone bad?

On a separate topic, my Google Analytics report showed me that this site received a couple of visitors from another site, so I went and took a look. I  noticed that had been added to their Blog List. I thought that was kind of cool. So I wanted to give a shout out to DRE Learning Community for the mention. Thanks for spreading the word about

Until next time,


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