What to Do When You’ve Made Someone Angry is an excellent Harvard Business Review article, and very applicable to the classroom (as well as in other areas of life).
Here’s an excerpt:
It’s a refinement on what I’ve written about the importance of saying “I’m sorry” to students.
I tried out Bregman’s advice last week in class. A student was upset because I didn’t get over to him as quickly as he would have liked when he had a question (a chronic reaction from this particular student). We’ve talked before about how I have many other students who need my help, and, typically, I just quickly say “Sorry” when he expresses his impatience and move on to his question. This time, though, I said, “Sorry, I can see that you wanted to get this work done and were frustrated you had to wait to get my help before you were able to move on” and then got to his question. He clearly was able to “let go” of his anger quicker than usual and re-focus on the work.
It’s just one more positive classroom strategy to have in one’s “back pocket.”