Resources for Educators

Teaching Tip

From the Teacher’s Aide Newsletter

2015 April

Managing Disruptive Behaviors

In light of our March web conference discussion involving Difficult Students, we thought we would include a few tips for handling those relatively mild disruptive behaviors that take us off topic.

Managing Questions

  • Is it on topic? Answer it!
  • Is it off topic, but important and could be a great teaching moment? Answer it! This option requires that you know your subject well, and that you have the time management skills to make up for the lost time at a later date.
  • Is it off topic and not appropriate at this time? Save it for another time, or have the student save it.

Managing Disruptions (cross-talk, texting, argumentative)

  • Make eye contact and move toward the student.
  • Silently wait for the disruption to end.
  • Acknowledge the input without agreeing or disagreeing. Some possible responses: “You could be right”, “Thanks for your comment”, “Let’s save that for later”, “What does everyone else think?”
  • Remind the whole group of the classroom agreement. (We highly recommend you have one.)
  • If all else fails, call for a break and speak with the student privately.