Post one-liners for addressing students who are chatty, chronic complainers, class clowns, etc., here.

Word of Caution!

You can use most of these with middle-high school students. However, in my experience middle school students DO NOT understand saracasm and are very literal. A word of caution if you use these with a sarcastic tone of voice, it may increase the likelyhood of an argument- instead of deflating it. If you say these with a smile and a calm voice (NO SARACASM) the (ms) students will most likely understand and continue his/her work. - cartierm cartierm

Validation of Feelings/Disagreements with Teachers

  • Awww. That hurts my feelings!
  • Even if that is true, you know I'm still your favorite Spanish teacher!
  • I know it must feel that way. (To validate students' feelings, even if you disagree with their comments)
  • I'll bet that really frustrates you, doesn't it?
  • I've gotta do what I've gotta do! (When students dislike a decision you make)
  • Life isn't fair.
  • When you're the teacher, YOU can make the seating chart!

Whining or Complaining

  • Didn't you know they put me in the Guiness Book of World Records for being the teacher with the whiniest students/most difficult tests/meanest rules, etc.?
  • I do what I can! (When students whine or complain)
  • Didn't you know my official nickname is "The Wicked Witch of the West?!"
  • I have a reputation to uphold!
  • I've been having fun all hour! (When students complain)
  • Nice try! (When students try to negotiate their way out of an assignment)
  • No.
  • Probably so. (When students say how boring, mean, unfair, etc., you are)
  • Who ever told you that school was supposed to be fun?
  • That's why I get paid the big bucks.
  • When your name is ___, you can do xyz...
  • At the end of class, if there's time. (When students have topics or arguments they want to have in class to avoid work) (they usually forget!) - cartierm cartierm
  • Awwww, man!!!

Conversation during instructions

  • Do you guys have a question?
  • We'll talk about this later.
  • I'm sorry, was I interrupting your conversation?
  • Save it for your mean teacher. (When a student is being uncooperative.)
  • Thanks for sharing. (When students say something to try to start an argument or an off-topic discussion and you don't want to encourage a continuation of the conversation.)
  • Please respect (my/your classmate's) voice! - cartierm cartierm
  • What? Huh? What's going on? bmslloyd- bmslloyd bmslloyd
  • (Student's name), please stop talking and ----.


  • I'm not a judge, I'm just a scorekeeper. (When students complain about grades)
  • It's important for me to grade fairly. - cartierm cartierm
  • To get the highest grade, you have to make sure I see highest quality on EVERY assignment. - cartierm cartierm


  • 18 inches between the forehead and the desk please!

Inappropriate Topics, or Conversation

Post one-liners for handling student comments that are inappropriate or make you feel uncomfortable here.

  • If this were a soccer game, you'd be out of bounds!
  • Would you say that to your grandmother?
  • What did you say? "Let's talk about this after class?" OK, see you there!
  • If this conversation were about you, how would you feel? - cartierm cartierm
  • Too far! Too far!
  • Inappropriate!

See also: Affirming Students' Efforts & Responses, Classroom Commands in the Target Language, Classroom Management, Establishing Expectations, Managing the Class Through Curriculum, Managing Minor Misbehaviors & Chronic Problems, Signals for Attention, Strategies for Motivating the Reluctant Learner

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