Students on college campuses face an ever-increasing amount of stress and anxiety as the pressure for their success becomes equally matched. These stressors come in many forms but all have a substantial impact on the student's ability to persist in a collegiate atmosphere. Creating a learning-centered environment in your classroom can help to reduce some of these stressors. Students in a supportive classroom are able to step outside of their personal boundaries without fear. Your role in this process as an educator is to ensure that you are setting the expectations of behavior for your classroom and learning environment from the first day forward.

Progressive Response to Classroom Disruption

  • For minor disruption, approach the student and ask them to discontinue the problem behavior. Often times, students are aware of the disruption that they are causing
    • Use this opportunity to talk to the student one-on-one and outline the impact that their behavior is having on other individuals
  • For repeated disruption or disruption that significantly impedes on the course content delivery, ask the student to leave the class/lab/learning environment for the day
    • Ensure that you follow-up with your Dean and Department Chair if a student has been asked to leave the class
  • If for any reason, a student demonstrates threating gestures or behavior, contact the Hocking College Police Department at 740.753.6598
    • If you are personally unable to contact HCPD, ask a member of your class to contact them with the location of the incident

Tips and Suggestions for Classroom Management

  • Don't tolerate the behaviors, but don't take the behavior personally. Inform students early on exactly what behaviors will and will not be tolerated. If a student choses to violate those expectations, inform them of the ramifications of those violations
    • Most inappropriate behaviors are not seriously disruptive and can be addressed with a simple intervention with the student before the behavior escalates
  • Stick to your syllabus and class policies regarding student expectation of behavior
    • You might want to add a section to your syllabus about appropriate classroom behavior if you have not yet added one
  • Keep in mind that some behaviors are annoying, but usually harmless
    • Realize that in many cases, it's a maturity issue or a lack of academic preparation / socialization prior to coming to campus
  • Remind student that other students are attempting to learn the material and that they are not the only one paying to be present
  • Pull them aside out of class or after class and talk with them
  • Counsel the student on the benefits of discontinuing the behavior
    • This phrasing may be helpful. (You can insert other annoying behaviors here.) "I understand that you have a lot to say, but your constant talking is disrupting the class for the other students. I don't want to have to separate you, but I will if necessary."
  • Talk with colleagues for ideas.
  • Keep in communication with your Dean or Department Chair if you are concerned
    • Document the meetings you have with your students and make reports to Student Conduct for consistent behavior problems.
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