Strategies for Navigating Challenging Classroom Situations
To respond effectively to challenging situations in the classroom, prepare yourself with a range of responses to draw from. This resource offers potential responses to situations including when students are overly talkative or won’t pay attention; bullying; aggressive physical behavior; non-participation; and phone use during class.
If you’re struggling with a group of students who won’t stop talking, do some self-reflection. Are there places in your lesson where your directions could be clearer or your transitions tighter?
Have an activity in your back pocket that students can engage with individually (such as freewriting or drawing), should you need to pull a student aside to address a particular behavior or bullying. This will help keep the focus off of that student and allow you time to address the situation. Making sure the activity is related to the content of the lesson will allow for the student to seamlessly re-enter the group which can also help to mitigate further disruptions.
A creative learning environment is different from a regular academic class. Teaching Artists and other Classroom Professionals may have to adjust expectations for behavior when defining boundaries and consequences.
Remote Teaching and Learning Tip:
Transitioning online can change the dynamic of interaction and communication. If you are planning a remote residency or workshop, or your classroom has transitioned online, check out our GIVE resource for Remote Learning: Adaptations for Classroom and Behavior Management.
Navigating Common Behavior Challenges:
Below we offer suggestions to keep in your back pocket for navigating these common behavior challenges in the classroom. Each challenge has three suggestions, in order from:
- MILD: A small intervention needed
- MEDIUM: Student(s) need more support to get back on track
- HOT: A significant shift is needed to maintain a healthy classroom environment
Keep in mind, what works for one class and one student might not work for another. These are suggestions; your response should be shaped by your knowledge of your students and classroom community.