Disruptive Classroom Behavior

Classroom Rules, Published by keldance7 2015, August 25.

I believe there are two measures to deal with students’ disruptive behaviors Prevention and responsiveness. For prevention, I follow six well-known guidelines in attempt to avoid disruptive classroom behavior:

  • Use contract of ethics that list all behavioral expectations and ask students to sign it.
  • In early stages of any course, provide a discussion guidelines at the beginning of the term and talk to them about “Democratization of voices” which simply means that no single voice of the classroom dominates.
  • Follow the golden rule you can’t expect students to respect you, if you don’t treat them back with respect.
  • Collect feedbacks throughout the course and carefully design the feedback instruments to have few open-ended questions that allows students to give uncut opinions on areas of improvement for educator’s instruction, read students feedback carefully and address students’ complaints and deter any conflicts rapidly.
  • Work to build relationships between students, encourage students to get to know one another.
  • Try to connect with students, schedule time for students to meet you and talk to about their problems.

The other measure is to respond to messy and unpredictable situations. I categorize behaviors disruptions that commonly occur in the class into minor and persistent. In case of minor disruptions, sometimes I tend to ignore if it is a onetime incidence, but I believe the best strategy is to discuss the issue in the class in an implicit way with no names.

For persistent disruptive behavior, there are three common disruptive behaviors. First the hostile students who frequently challenge the educator’s authority. An immediate private discussion can help to reduce the incidence as passivity might make things get worse. Only in extremely serous issues, I turn the problem to supervisors and if there is a suspect that the student has psychological or emotional problems, the student is referred to counseling services. Second, For over participation, I try to design participation activities that require each one’s contributions and select randomly one member to present group work. In very few evidences, I had to speak privately with the students who are participating too much to help them understand why their attitude might inhibit others’ learning. Third, for excessive excuses overuse, I follow a technique I read in an article where the educator uses “Stuff Happens cards” (Weimer, n.d.) which is a card  given to each student to use once for any excuse with getting the educators’ permission. However, if the student didn’t use the card through out the course it  is traded for bonus points (Weimer, n.d.).

It is very important while dealing with a disruptive behavior to keep in mind that it is easy to respond defensively or dismiss a student’s disruptive behavior, but that will take us nowhere and might result in students disconnecting from the learning process. Responding thoughtfully to such disruptions is the right route to reduce the severity of disruptions and to resolve any conflicts.

Weimer,M. (n.d.). Use ‘Stuff Happens’ Cards to Handle Student Excuses. Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/free-reports/10-effective-classroom-management-techniques-every-faculty-member-should-know/






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