March 29, 2012, 8:00 am
Here at ProfHacker, we are committed to helping you (and ourselves) become better educators. We write about teaching strategies, tools that aid in (teaching) productivity, and classroom strategies that work for us and that might just work for you. Some of our posts deal with methods of instruction in specific disciplines. Some of our content is generalizable across many fields and classroom situations. And lastly, we focus on teaching situations that few of us cover in graduate school: classroom management techniques. We have the “disruptive student behavior” series that outlines a specific disruptive situation and then asks you, our readers, how you might handle that situation. Shared knowledge can be good knowledge.
Our posts are serious, but some are more serious than others. Faculty of all ranks need information about how to handle disruptive students. Maybe …
February 24, 2012, 11:00 am
As higher education professionals, we have conversations with friends and colleagues about our students. We’ve all done it. The conversations can include how engaged students are with course material, how interesting classes can be when students participate, or maybe we’ve passed along a particularly funny exchange with students. We love what we do, and we want to share that joy. But then there are the other experiences, experiences we don’t readily share because we don’t quite know how to handle them. Or, we don’t share them because we don’t want our colleagues and friends to know that we can’t handle the situations. That’s what ProfHacker’s “Disruptive Student Behavior” is all about: it gives us a space to discuss—calmly, respectfully, and sometimes anonymously—how to handle difficult situations with students.
This series has a few caveats:
January 17, 2011, 11:00 am
Here at ProfHacker, we’ve discussed ways to handle a disruptive student, the student who talks too much to peers, who is not dressed appropriately, who has imbibed too much (and is in class), who overuses electronic equipment (for non-class related activities). It’s important that we know how to handle this disruptive behavior when it comes our way, because at some point it will come our way. It’s good to be prepared.
However, what we’ve done in these first examples is blame the student for bad social skills or boorish behavior (and yes, students make mistakes that can disrupt learning for other students). However, it’s important to recognize that students are not the only members of a classroom community with bad social skills or boorish behavior. What are we doing that might be causing the disrespectful student behavior?
In all the posts in this series, we have a…
November 2, 2010, 8:00 am
Evidence of bullying behavior is all around us. Last year, three incidents of this type of behavior happened in one week, and they all made national headlines: Kanye West charged the stage, stole the microphone at the VMA awards, and proceeded to tell the audience why he felt Beyonce should have won the award instead of the usurped Taylor Swift. Tennis player Serena Williams berated and threatened a line judge at the U. S. Open because of what she felt was a bad call. Lastly, and while not bullying in the strictest sense, South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson shouted out “You lie!” during a speech President Barack Obama gave to the joint session of Congress.
Other cases of bullying behavior are not quite as public, but they are, perhaps, more common. On the sidelines of an Under-6 boys and girls’ soccer game (kindergartners), parents yell and scream obscenities at the…
September 2, 2010, 11:00 am
Today’s ProfHacker post will provide scenarios about how the “Disrepecters”—David, Debbie, Donald, and Desiree—can challenge your authority in a classroom and impede learning for others. You’ve certainly had a student or two who have exhibited disrespectful behavior in the classroom. You know the ones: students who ask questions that are supposed to put you in your place? Yes, those students.
Maybe these students don’t realize how disrespectful (and downright rude) they come across. Maybe they do realize this and that’s their aim. Maybe they are asking sincere questions. Then again, maybe they aren’t. In context, however, you understand by tone, inflection, and body language that the students mean disrespect. (Or for the sake of this post, let’s believe they do.)
How do you deal with these questions and with these students when you encounter disrespectful behavior? At…
July 22, 2010, 11:00 am
If you have been teaching very long, you have met the Thwarters (Tammy and Tony). You know the ones: the Thwarters have the unique ability to issue a declarative statement that sucks all possibility out of a room. (Maybe you know a faculty member like this?) The Thwarters are dualistic thinkers, and while this can be a fine attribute to have, the Thwarters’ beliefs leave no space for interpretation, for difference, for learning, for hope.
Today’s ProfHacker post will provide three scenarios about how the “Thwarters” can stop a classroom discussion cold. We will then ask you to provide your solution to the problem in comments. If you are unfamiliar with this ProfHacker series, you might take a look at these previous posts:
- Meet Chatty Cathy and her BFF Conversational Carl
- What’s that Smell?
- The Case of Know-it-All Nancy
- Too Much Skin Edition
- T-shirt slogan…
May 6, 2010, 2:00 pm
For the past few months, ProfHacker has published a series of posts on the “disruptive student.” These disruptive student behaviors range from the student who talks too much (answering all questions) to the student who only talks to her/his friends (with little regard for the rest of the class), from students who display a disruptive amount of skin (our most recent post in this series), to today’s post: students who display offensive/insensitive slogans on their clothes.
For clarity, we are defining “disruptive student behavior” as behavior that impedes learning and teaching in a classroom.
In our last post, “too much skin edition,” we wrote about the dilemma most of us face in a university classroom, how seeing too much of a male or female student’s body can be problematic for a professor but also for other students. A concern about too much skin can be a regional one (tropical…
February 2, 2010, 2:26 pm
In this ongoing ProfHacker series, we once again take on the potentially charged subject of disruptive student behavior. In December, Nels asked “What’s that Smell?” a post about the smells that can emanate from students who engage in illegal questionable behavior outside of class, and what professors should/could do about it. In our first installment of this series, I wrote about how to deal with students who engage in disruptive, off-topic conversations. Today’s post also addresses talkative students. But instead of talking to other students and being disruptive, these types of talkers are the ones who talk to you, the professor. And they never stop talking.
As a reminder, in this series, we present a scenario, and we’ll offer a few suggestions from ProfHacker readers about how they might handle a similar situation. As always, many of the scenarios we…
December 4, 2009, 10:00 am
This post continues the ProfHacker series on disruptive student behavior in the classroom (see our first post on ways to handle students who are engaging in disruptive, off-topic conversations). In this series, we present a scenario and offer a few suggestions from ProfHacker readers about how they handle similar situations. Of course, ways of handling these scenarios will depend upon the discipline, the class size, and the culture of an institution, and we will try to include as many of these variables as we can. What we are discussing here are behaviors that–no matter the discipline or the institutional culture–impede learning for other students. This scenario comes directly from one of our readers who asked us how we’d handle something she encountered for the first time just this semester.
SCENARIO: Before class begins, Lethargic Larry/Laura walks by, an…