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.
- 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.