Dealing with Disruptive Students Breadcrumb Academic Affairs Walker Center for Teaching and Learning Orientations Graduate Teaching Assistant Disruptive Students Main navigation Skip Sidebar Section Menu Academic Affairs Skip Sidebar Disruptive Students Getting Class Rolls Good Testing Impartial Grading New Teaching Techniques Sexual Harassment Student Feedback Student Support Resources Syllabus TA-GA support services Turning in Grades Campus Resources Office of Student Affairs and Counseling Services: Willing to discuss issues with instructors before they become problems. Campus Police: If the student is a threat to themselves or others Students Need training to see value in unfamiliar educational strategies (“you didn’t tell me the right answer in class, how can you expect me to know it?”). Need guidance to accept nonwhite, non-male faculty as just as qualified and as authoritative. Types of Disruptive Behavior disengaged disinterested disrespectful disruptive defiant disturbed Prevention Strategies Behavioral contracts List specific behavioral expectations in syllabus, but with a positive spin “Students are expected to turn in homework on time" vs. "Late homework will not be accepted." Adjust your stage presence. Be polite Speak with rather than at students Refer to your own research or experiences whenever appropriate Extend verbal respect to students, use last names or ask what they would prefer to be called Walk around the class Use broad gestures Speak to the back row Ask for input from students Do not end declarative sentences with a questioning rise in vocal pitch Have students identify what they consider inappropriate behaviors as a group Claim your territory. Dress professionally Speak in a clear low voice Maintain social space Have students address you as professor, instructor, or Doctor Empower students to police their peers through peer pressure. Mediation Strategies Act, do not react Do not allow a student to goad you into losing your cool. Act quickly The longer you allow a behavior to continue, the harder it will be to change the behavior Follow up outside of class Provide privacy from other students but not other faculty/staff Allow enough time for emotions to cool on both sides Be personal in confronting a student but do not take it personally Do not accept further abuse In class strategies to try Insert quiet pauses and make eye contact with the student Decrease physical distance from student Model polite behavior Reiterate syllabus requirements in regard to behavior Adapt classroom to minimize disruption Incorporate small group work, like problem based learning tasks Answer leading or questions with guiding questions. Deflect hidden agendas. Reframe Uncivil Behavior Focus on positive parts Even negative statements indicate interest in material Recourse: Recourses are available to you as faculty (use only if nothing else works): You can ask them to leave for a class period but you cannot ban them from the class. If they do not leave after you have dismissed them, call university police. Then, either take a ten minute break or move the class to another room.