Dealing with Difficult Students in the Classroom

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A guide to assist faculty at WCSU
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“All members of the University community
must at all times govern their social and
academic interactions with tolerance and
mutual respect so that the men and women
who pass through the University’s doors are
enriched by these experiences and are
prepared for full and enlightened
participation in a multi-cultural society.”
- From the Preamble of the Connecticut State University
system Student Code of Conduct and Statement of Judicial
Procedures.
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All instructors should put in their syllabus
expectations of classroom behavior.
The instructor should reference the Student
Code of Conduct and Statement of Judicial
Procedures in their syllabus, and at their first
class let students know that disruptive
behavior will not be tolerated.
An option would be to have each student sign
a sheet stating that you went over the
classroom expectations and that it’s the
student’s responsibility to adhere to these
expectations.
Disruptive behavior interferes with
academic activities.
Disruptive behavior inhibits students’
ability to learn and the instructors
ability to teach.
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Often times there can be lively or heated
discussions in the classroom. This is not
considered disruptive behavior.
However, student behavior that is a
disruption to teaching and learning must be
addressed.
Most of the time and for most incidents,
faculty would utilize their own classroom
management style and handle situations right
away. The following is to help you with the
proper procedures if any of the following
types of behavior happen in your classroom.
PHYSICAL ASSAULT
Never put yourself in a harmful situation!
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Call the Police Department immediately at 79300 or 911.
Have the students in the class move into the
hallway away from the situation.
File a report to the Dean of Student Affairs
office, to be sent attention Director of Judicial
Affairs.
Notify your department chair/respective
dean.
PSYCHOLOGICAL/EMOTIONAL EMERGENCY OR INAPPROPRIATE OUTBURSTS
IN
THE CLASSROOM
This could be anything from violent outbursts or emotional
outburst that do not cease. If the student has violent outburst, call
the police immediately at 7-9300.
Ask the student to stop the behavior and to talk with the professor
after the class.
If the behavior doesn’t stop, ask the student to leave the class.
If the student doesn’t comply, call the Police Department 7-9300.
File a report and send to Dean of Student Affairs office, attention
Director of Judicial Affairs.
Notify your department chairperson/respective dean.
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PANIC ATTACKS
Calm the student.
Encourage him/her to breathe deeply.
Find someone to accompany the student to
Health Services or the Counseling Center.
Only call the police if the student needs a ride
from the Westside and (if so) calmly explain
that you are calling a ride for them, not for
anything punitive.
SERIOUS INJURY, ILLNESS
OR ACCIDENT (INCLUDES ALCOHOL OR
DRUG RELATED)
Do not touch the student or any bodily fluids for their
safety and yours. Do not transport student(s) to the
hospital!
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Call the PD (7-9300) or 9-1-1.
Notify the Dean of Student Affairs office.
Advise the student of campus resources according to
his/her needs. (ie/counseling center, health services)
File a report and send to Dean of Student Affairs
office, attention Director of Judicial Affairs.
Notify your department chairperson/respective dean.
BIASED-RELATED STATEMENTS
Any language or other acts that are harassing/intimidating and
directed towards individuals or groups because of their race,
ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and physical or
mental disability.
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Be supportive of the victim.
Confront the student doing this inappropriate behavior to stop
this behavior and to speak with them after class.
If the behavior doesn’t stop, ask the student to leave the class.
If the student doesn’t comply, call the Police Department 79300.
File a report and send to Dean of Student Affairs office, attention
Director of Judicial Affairs.
Notify your department chairperson/respective dean.
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1.) The disruptive student should be
confronted in a timely manner to reinforce
expectations from the first class.
2.) The instructor should ask to speak to the
student in private or after class.
3.) The instructor and student should go
over what can be done to improve behavior
and to prevent this from happening again.
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4.) If the disruption warrants, due to the
seriousness or persistence, ask the student to
leave the class and inform him/her that this
incident will be documented and referred to
Student Affairs staff.
5.) Let your department chair and the dean
of your respective school know that an
incident of disruptive behavior has occurred
and has been reported to Student Affairs.
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The Director of Judicial Affairs will notify you that the
complaint has been received.
The Director of Judicial Affairs will meet with the student
and either adjudicate the incident or schedule a formal
hearing.
If the complaint is going to a formal hearing, the Director
of Judicial Affairs will ask the faculty or staff member their
availability to attend a hearing.
If the complaint is adjudicated informally or formally, the
Director of Judicial Affairs will keep the faculty member or
staff informed of everything.
The Director of Judicial Affairs will also keep the
department chairperson and Dean for the respective
school informed as well.
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1) Always put in your syllabus behavioral
expectations in the classroom.
2) Go over these at the first class.
3) If a situation rises to the level of student not
cooperating, always call our University Police at
7-9300, or 9-1-1 for an emergency.
4) Always inform your department chairperson
and/or respective dean of classroom incidents.
5) Fill-out inappropriate behavior form for
students not adhering to classroom behavior
expectations.
If you ever need assistance or have a classroom
scenario you are not sure how to handle,
please contact the
Office of Judicial Affairs at
7-8770
(203) 837-8770
You can print out the Inappropriate Behavior
Form by going into the WCSU website:
http://www.wcsu.edu/stuaffairs/forms.asp
If you ever have any questions, please feel free to
contact:
Charles J. Alexander
Director of Judicial Affairs
(203) 837 – 8770
Dr. Walt Cramer
Dean of Students
(203) 837 – 8547
Dr. Walter Bernstein
VP of Student Affairs
(203) 837 - 8600
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