1. Set clear boundaries
regarding acceptable behavior, i.e. attendance policies, sleeping
in class, cell phone usage, interrupting, talking out of turn, etc.
Use your syllabus to put classroom rules and expectations in writing.
2. Clearly state the
academic expectations and evaluation standards for your class. Again,
use your syllabus to ensure that there is no confusion regarding
3. Be a role model for
the behavior you require of your students, i.e. promptness, courtesy,
4. If you need to reprimand
a student for disruptive behavior, speak with him/her privately
to avoid defensiveness and/or further "acting out" in
response to being shamed in front of his/her peers.
5. When meeting individually
with a student, clearly state the intended duration of the meeting
and periodically remind the student of how much time is remaining.
6. Read and become familiar
with the university's code of conduct and the procedures for disciplinary
7. Don't take the student's
behavior personally. Maintain your professionalism and remain calm.
By remaining emotionally detached from a frustrating or potentially
explosive situation, you maintain a better chance of retaining control
of the classroom.
If all else fails:
1. If a student refuses
to comply with your clearly set guidelines for classroom behavior
and continues to be disruptive, speak with your departmental chair
for further assistance in resolving the situation.
2. If the student continues
to be disruptive despite discussion with him/her regarding his/her
unacceptable behavior, you may at your discretion activate the university's
code of conduct with regard to the disciplinary action.
3. If a student has disclosed
to you that he/she is registered with the Office of Student Disability
Services (SDS) you may call SDS at extension 7128 for consultation.
Remember that students with disabilities are required to follow
the same codes of personal and academic conduct that no-disabled
students must follow. Please note that it is a violation of federal
law to require that a student disclose his/her specific diagnosis;
however, you may ask about any functional limitations the student
may have as a result of the diagnosed disorder.
4. If there is a concern
that a student's behavior may be threatening to others/ self destructive
or there is a perceived threat of harm to others and/or self-harm,
including suicide, contact UPD at extension 7234 and the Counseling
Center at extension 3784.
5. If any such threat
to self or others is immediate or there is a perception of immediate
physical threat, call UPD immediately at extension 4911.
Adapted in part from
materials provided by Johnson State College Counseling Center &
The University Of Missouri at St. Louis Counseling Center.