Dealing with intimidating students

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It is essential that instructors be able to conduct classes without disruption and that students are able to attend and participate in classes without disruption and intimidation.The University administration will fully support all the steps necessary to ensure that this is the case. They called out during lessons and made inappropriate comments.Most distressing, when he’d confront them or attempt to hold them accountable, they would become disrespectful. The teacher was at the end of his rope and desperate for answers. How do you handle a half dozen who are determined to make your life miserable? Day after day, this teacher was pulling them aside for one-on-one talking-tos.It is from, Chapter 6 - Dealing with disruptive students, in the book, Making Teaching Work: 'Teaching Smarter' in Post-Compulsory Education by Phil Race and Ruth Pickford. Generally, it is as well to give any sort of disruptive student the minimum attention necessary because time focused on disruptive behavior is time that is not being spent on facilitating learning.

Your department chair or dean may be a resource, along with other college resources.

Print Page College faculty and staff sometimes face student behavior that challenges their ability to maintain an effective and safe learning or work environment.

The following information offers tips on responding to the disruptive or threatening student.

As defined by the University Calendar, “any student commits an instructional offence who disrupts a class or other period of instruction if he or she: (a) is a registered member of the class or period of instruction; (b) is warned to discontinue any act or behaviour reasonably judged by the instructor of the course or period of instruction to be detrimental to the class, and having ignored such warning is ordered by the instructor to leave and refuses to leave.” Disruptive behaviour can also occur outside the classroom or period of instruction.

The term disruptive behaviour does not have a legal meaning and is used to refer to a broad range of behaviour which adversely affects another person’s reasonable expectation to live and learn and work in a safe and respectful environment.

For instance, you might say ” I will conduct this class as a series of lectures; please feel free to raise your hand when you have a question”, or “I will allow five or ten minutes for questions at the end of each hour; please save your questions until then.” Students rightfully expect to have an opportunity to ask questions or make comments, as part of the normal give-and-take of the University setting.

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