Classroom Management

Assisting Emotionally Troubled Students

Aggressive Student

Student Symptoms

  • Students May Disclose or You May Notice:
  • Feelings of
    • frustration
    • inadequacy
    • being out of control
  • Passive-aggressive
  • Violent outbursts
  • Verbally aggressive
    • may see you as trying to control them
  • Angry at his/her world:
    • lashes out

Instructor Response

DO

  • Focus on diffusing the situation.
  • Reduce stimulation.
  • Allow and establish boundaries for behavior.

Alert the Vice President for Student Services of any suspicion or threat of physical aggression.

Be prepared to call Campus Police if necessary

DON'T

  • Try to resolve the student's crisis.
  • Jeopardize your safety.
  • Get into an argument.
  • Touch the student.
  • Make threats, dares or taunts.
  • Insist on explanation of the student's behavior

Depressed Student

Student Symptoms

  • Students May Disclose or You May Notice:
  • Feelings of
    • self-anger
    • guilt
    • worthlessness
    • helplessness
    • hopelessness
  • Difficulty concentrating, and/or remembering
  • Changes in appetite
  • Sleep disturbances

Instructor Response

DO

  • Allow the student to express feelings
  • Encourage utilizing a support network
  • Tell student of your concern
  • Talk about suicide if it's on student's mind

Call Campus Police immediately if the student appears suicidal or Contact the Vice President for Student Services for a referral

DON'T

  • Say
    "Don't worry"
    "Crying won't help"
    "Everything will be better tomorrow"
  • - Become overwhelmed by student's problems
  • Try to take responsibility for or solve their problems
  • Ignore their feelings
  • Continue to see student without making appropriate referrals

Student In Poor Contact With Reality

Student Symptoms

  • Students May Disclose or You May Notice:
  • Feelings of
    • special importance or power
    • being controlled or harmed by others
    • confusion, distorted perceptions
    • unjustified fearfulness
  • Unaware or unconcerned with classroom protocol or acceptable social behavior
  • Hallucinations
  • May appear to be on drugs

Instructor Response

DO

  • Respond to them with warmth and kindness
  • See them in a quiet atmosphere if you are comfortable doing so
  • Acknowledge their feelings
  • Reveal when you have difficulty understanding them
  • Focus on the "here & now"

Contact the Vice President for Student Services for a referral

DON'T

  • Deal with the issue in front of the class
  • Argue or try to convince them of their irrational thinking
  • Play along with their beliefs
  • Encourage further revelations of craziness
  • Demand they change their ideas or behavior
  • Continue to see student without making appropriate referrals

Anxious Student

Student Symptoms

  • Students May Disclose or You May Notice:
  • Feelings of
    • worry
    • fear
    • anticipation of misfortune, doom
  • Panic attacks
    • sweating
    • dizziness
    • choking
    • chest pain
    • cold, clammy hands
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory distortions

Instructor Response

DO

  • Let them discuss their feelings or thoughts
  • Help them define their stressors
  • Be clear and explicit about what you're willing to do
  • Talk slowly, remain calm and encourage them to use a support system

Contact the Vice President for Student Services for a referral

DON'T

  • Deal with the issue in front of the class
  • Argue or try to convince them of their irrational thinking
  • Play along with their beliefs or encourage further revelations of craziness
  • Demand they change their ideas or behavior
  • Continue to see student without making appropriate referrals

Manipulative Student

Student Symptoms

  • Students May Disclose or You May Notice:
  • Feelings of
    • inadequacy
    • seeks to control your time
  • Self-centered
    • time spent with them is a reflection of personal worth
  • Immature

Instructor Response

DO

  • Set clear and precise limits (e.g. "I am able to spend 10 minutes with you now. My regular office hours are….")
  • Strictly adhere to the established limits no matter how much student protests
  • Allow student to make his/her own decisions
    • Encourage them to use a support system (e.g. friends, other class members, college-based clubs)

Contact the Vice President for Student Services for a referral

DON'T

  • Take responsibility for them
  • Break the boundaries you set for the student
  • Allow student to use you as their only source of support

Paranoid Student

Student Symptoms

  • Students May Disclose or You May Notice:
  • Feelings of
    • being the focal point of everyone's behavior
    • tension
    • nervousness
    • caution
    • inadequacy
  • Misinterpret minor oversights as significant personal rejection
  • Overreact to insignificant occurrences
  • Overly concerned with fairness, being treated equally
  • Difficulty with closeness or warmth
  • Project blame onto others
  • Express anger in roundabout ways

Instructor Response

DO

  • Send clear, consistent messages about what you will do and what you expect
  • Express compassion without intimate friendship
  • Maintain a professional distance from the student

Contact the Vice President for Student Services for a referral

DON'T

  • Become a personal friend of the student
  • Become overly warm, nurturing or personal
  • Flatter, humor or " be cute" to relieve your own anxiety
  • Reinforce their beliefs
  • Try to argue against their beliefs

Student Under The Influence

Student Symptoms

  • Students May Disclose or You May Notice:
  • Susceptible to peer pressure
  • Irresponsible or unpredictable behavior
  • Health and social impairments
    • hygiene
    • consciousness
    • ability to function
  • Changes in academic performance

Instructor Response

DO

  • Confront student with behavior that is a concern
  • Address the substance abuse issue if the student is open and willing
  • Offer support and concern for the student's overall well-being
  • Consider maintaining contact with student after a referral is made

Contact the Vice President for Student Services for a referral

DON'T

  • Convey judgment or criticism about the student's substance abuse
  • Make allowances for the student's irresponsible behavior
  • Ignore signs of intoxication in the classroom
  • Confront the student in front of the class

When and Where to Make Referrals

Refer a student to the Vice President for Student Services for help as soon as you feel the problem or request for information is beyond your level of competency:

  • You fear for the safety of yourself, others or the student in crisis
  • The student's condition and resulting behaviors render you unable to work with the student due to the limits of your energy, patience, or overall class environment