Classroom Management

Despite your best efforts, you will encounter students who are distracted or disruptive in your classes. Being proactive in addressing these concerns is the best approach, but Peru State College has a disruptive student policy that you could use in extreme situations.

Gonzalez (2014) provides the following short-term strategies to address classroom disruption:

  • Move around the room, so you are close to students who many be engaging in disruptive behavior.
  • Ask content-related questions of students who are disruptive.
  • Avoid sarcasm and avoid embarrassing students who are disruptive.
  • Talk privately with disruptive students.

She also provides several long-term strategies that could be used:

  • Find someone who has mastered the problem to be a mentor and coach for your situations.
  • Vary your teaching methods and use these classroom engagement strategies to keep students engaged and motivated.
  • Develop class rules with students.
  • Record positive and negative student behaviors.

You can read more details about Gonzalez’s approach in her article, Distract the Distractors.

Additional Reading

  • The Distracted Classroom (Chronicle of Higher Education)
    “But when I reconsidered the experience through the lens provided by Gazzaley and Rosen, a new set of questions began to emerge: What goal had I established for Kate’s learning that day? How had I created an environment that supported her ability to achieve that goal? And perhaps most important — assuming that the class had a learning goal that mattered for her — did she know about it?” (Lang, 2017)
  • The Distracted Classroom: Transparency, Autonomy, and Pedagogy (Lang, 2017)
    “The three pathways proposed below represent sound solutions to any teaching problem but have been tailored here to deal with the challenge of digital distractions in class. All three ideas draw from the more general literature on teaching and learning in higher education, as well as from some more specific research on technology and classroom distraction.”
  • Sar-Chasm in the Classroom (Blaisdell, 2017)
    One of my classroom goals, which I tell myself and my students, is for them to ask me anything whenever they have a question. Sarcasm is a punch back — proof I didn’t mean what I said. They know now they have to be careful: Ask the wrong question and I might mock them.

Peru State College Disruptive Student Policy

No person shall engage in any disorderly behavior that disrupts the College’s academic environment or the provision of College services. Faculty have a responsibility to maintain an effective learning situation in their classrooms and to deal promptly with any disruptions that interfere with the learning situation. The faculty are in charge of their classrooms. If they feel a student is interfering with the right of other students to profit from attendance in that classroom or if they feel they are being unreasonably hindered in the presentation of subject matter, faculty have the right to eject the offending student from class and/or notify the appropriate academic Dean of the student’s behavior. Either course of action should be taken with discretion and for reasonable cause.

Prohibited behavior includes, but is not limited to, fighting, making unreasonable noise, refusing to obey a reasonable request by the faculty, the use of a cell phone or other electronic devices during class, using abusive or obscene language or gestures in class, harassment, or threats.

If a student is ejected from the class, the student must meet with the appropriate academic Dean before returning to class. When possible, such meetings will be scheduled in order to limit class sessions missed to one. The faculty member should immediately submit a written report of the incident to the academic Dean with a copy to the student and the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. (If the incident involves physical violence, a report should also be made to Campus Security.) Upon receipt of the report, the academic Dean will schedule a meeting with the student to discuss the incident. Any subsequent incident report made to the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs involving the same student in any class will result in a student administrative hearing. The consequences of such action may include denying the student further access to the class or other disciplinary action, including dismissal from college as described in the Student Handbook.