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DEALING WITH DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR IN & OUT OF THE CLASSROOM Dr. Brian Van Brunt Director of Counseling WKU Laura Bennett, M.Ed Student.

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Presentation on theme: "DEALING WITH DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR IN & OUT OF THE CLASSROOM Dr. Brian Van Brunt Director of Counseling WKU Laura Bennett, M.Ed Student."— Presentation transcript:

1 DEALING WITH DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR IN & OUT OF THE CLASSROOM Dr. Brian Van Brunt Director of Counseling WKU brian.vanbrunt@wku.edu Laura Bennett, M.Ed Student Conduct Officer at Harper lauraaebennett@gmail.com

2 Introduction 2 Setting Expectations & Mindset Solution Focused Solution Focused Difficult Conversations Difficult Conversations Documentation Making a Plan

3 3 Welcome to the second of a three part series addressing student behavior in and out of the classroom: (1)Dangerous (2)Disruptive (3)Distracting/Annoying Introduction Annoying Disruptive Dangerous Through a series of case scenarios and practical advice, we will share with you useful tools needed to identify, intervene and manage disruptive student behaviors.

4 Disruptive Physical Behaviors: Student misuse of technology in the classroom, such as watching loud videos on a laptop or cell phone ringing repeatedly Body odor or passing gas that significantly affects the learning environment Use of alcohol or other substances Getting up frequently or kicking others’ desks 4 Introduction

5 Disruptive Communications: Frequent interruption of professor while talking and asking of non-relevant, off-topic questions, after told directly to stop Repeated crosstalk or carrying on side conversations while the professor is speaking Yelling at classmates or instructor Emotional outbursts or other extreme communications in the waiting room of a campus office that significantly affects others 5 Introduction

6 Dangerous Behavior Examples Physical assault such as pushing, shoving or punching Throwing objects or slamming doors Storming out of the classroom or office when upset Direct communicated threat to professor, staff or another student such as: “I am going to kick your ass” or “If you say that again, I will end you.” Distracting/Annoying Behavior Examples Student has a grating personality Student is not prepared or motivated for class Student tells odd or strange jokes much below his developmental age Monopolization of staff time, lack of empathy or respect for others 6 Introduction

7 7 Kris During class, Kris kicks the desk of the student in front of him. He also gets up frequently and leaves class for 10-15 minutes at a time, and when he returns he often has a candy bar or other snack which he unwraps noisily. The student who sat in front of Kris approached the instructor, and the instructor suggests that he sit elsewhere. When he sits across the classroom, the instructor noticed that Kris also moved and sat behind him. Setting Expectations & Mindset

8 8 As the instructor--what bothers you most? 1.Overall rude behavior 2.The fact that your suggestion didn’t work and Kris repeated the behavior 3.The fact that Kris is disrupting class through small means 4.That you can’t just kick Kris out of class 5.That the student didn’t talk to Kris himself Setting Expectations & Mindset

9 9 Proactive Steps Set expectations for the classroom or office. Publish and discuss expectations. Include a discussion about what happens if someone violates the expectations. A conversation in private Being called out on obvious behaviors Discuss how students will interact with each other as well as the instructor/staff. Setting Expectations & Mindset

10 Explain your reason behind the rules. Remind students throughout the early weeks of the semester, because they WILL push the boundaries. 10 Setting Expectations & Mindset

11 We know when responding to a crisis it is essential to control biology as well as our thoughts. John Byrne’s Aggression Management system describes the biological changes (rapid heart rate, increased breathing, adrenaline, increase blood pressure) that accompany the escalation phase. If we control our biology through cycle breathing, we can regain our ability to calmly be more creative and in control of our thoughts. Be at your Best www.aggressionmanagement.com Setting Expectations & Mindset

12 Breathe in slowly to the count of 1…2…3…4… Hold your breath to the count of 1…2… Breathe out slowly to the count of 1…2…3…4… Hold your breath to the count of 1…2… 12 www.aggressionmanagement.com

13 13 Solution Focused Sally Sally is a sophomore student government leader who seemed a little off during the first meeting. As the advisor, you talked with her and she said she was just feeling under the weather. The next day, she comes into the Student Activities Office in between classes. She smells like marijuana but appears to be fine. A week later, Sally comes to meet with you to discuss an upcoming program. She trips on her way into your office, and a small bottle of vodka falls out of her purse.

14 14 Solution Focused As the staff member, what bothers you most? 1.The fact that Sally would meet with you after she was drinking 2.That talking to students about their drug/alcohol issues isn’t in your job description 3.That Sally smokes pot 4.That Sally is a student leader and is making bad decisions 5.That you are worried about Sally, since she told you there is a history of alcoholism in her family

15 15 Talk to the student alone (if safe) Talk should be free of time pressure Seek to understand, not to judge Listen to his/her point of view Discuss with neutral tone; no sarcasm Build connection; working together Find ‘teachable moments’ with students Solution Focused

16 Acknowledge frustration Use humor Be friendly, yet direct Be efficiency-oriented Offer a pathway for action Empathize and offer alternatives Be future-oriented 16 Solution Focused

17 Be Proactive (create environment, choose response before problems start) Begin with the End in Mind (create cognitive mindset, what is the vision, what is the habit) Put First Things First (application of mindset, habit in action, short-term goals) 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen Covey)

18 Stephen Covey: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Understand then be Understood (diagnosis first, then prescribe) Synergize (the whole is greater than the sum of its parts) Sharpen the Saw : (maintain and renew) Think Win-Win (achievements depend on cooperation, working together)

19 19 Difficult Conversations Mark Mark has excessive body odor, and this has been reported to you by an instructor and a computer lab staff member. The instructor notes that two students had to leave class due to the smell, and the lab staff report that Mark hangs out in the computer lab most afternoons during the peak times, but no one can sit near him due to the smell. Both individuals want you to keep Mark out of the classroom and the lab.

20 20 Difficult Conversations As the conduct officer, what bothers you most? 1.The annoyance that faculty and staff want you to solve the problem 2.The discomfort of having to deal with body odor issues 3.Not knowing why Mark has body odor 4.The lack of support for the student 5.The idea that you are sensitive to body odor

21 21 Have a calm, cool & collected mindset Share concerns without judgment & assumptions; neutral, ‘just the facts’ Listen to student, show respect Align with the student toward success Avoid sarcasm Stay solution focused (what next?) Difficult Conversations Do this:

22 22 Describe the behavior & its impacts Listen to the their perspective & response Discuss appropriate behavior Discuss resources to promote success Reiterate or set parameters for future behaviors Difficult Conversations Eight Steps

23 23 Share consequences for non-compliance Summarize the conversation Inform of any follow up: Document the conversation & plan Decide who you will inform Check in with the student, etc. Difficult Conversations Eight Steps

24 24 Jack Jack raised his voice in class a couple of times last week. When you noticed some female students seemed uncomfortable, you reminded everyone about the class guidelines and that seemed to work. Today, Jack’s phone went off and the song “Pimpin’ All Over the World” played loudly during a quiz. He let it play for over a minute rather than turning it off. After class, it was reported to you that Jack told the two women in his small group that he thought women shouldn’t go into business and instead should get MRS. Degrees. Making a Plan

25 25 Making a Plan What bothers you most? 1.Jack’s sexist attitude 2.Jack’s phone disrupting class 3.Having to talk about sexual content with students 4.That Jack’s parents didn’t raise him better 5.That Jack didn’t get the hint the first time from your general class announcements

26 William Glasser, founder of reality therapy, talks about the importance of creating plans and goals to ensure success. He offers a system based on the Wants, Direction and Doing, Evaluation, Planning (WDEP). 26 Making a Plan

27 W = explore the student’s wants & needs: Look for the desires & direction the student wants to head in. D = direction & doing: Faculty assess what the student is doing & the direction these behaviors are taking them. 27 Making a Plan

28 E = evaluation: Evaluate the student’s behavior. Is it taking them closer to their wants & needs? P = planning & commitment: Help student formulate realistic plans & make a commitment to carry them out. 28 Making a Plan

29 Simple: broken into small, easy pieces Attainable: realistic & accomplished Measurable: assessed & evaluated Immediate: short-term goals 29 Making a Plan

30 Controlled by the planner: ensure buy-in Consistently practiced: repeat = habit Committed to: buy-in & investment 30 Making a Plan

31 Ensure clear expectations Ensure a definition of success Develop a follow-up process Address both the specific behaviors, as well as the overall theme Plan may involve a conduct referral and a management strategy 31 Making a Plan

32 32 Jack (Part 2) Jack was referred to student conduct and received sanctions for his behavior, but was allowed to remain in class. This seems to have worked. After receiving his first midterm back and getting a D, Jack wants to argue his grade with you during class. You offer to meet with him after class, but he storms off. The next day, Jack comes to your department office and yells/curses at the assistant, calling her a “f*%@$ing b$@%*” and saying that you ruined his life and he plans to sue you. Documentation

33 33 Documentation What bothers you most? 1.The escalation in behavior 2.That the conduct process apparently didn’t teach him a lesson 3.That he is yelling at a staff member and now your dean/chair may think you can’t handle your students 4.That he wants to sue you 5.That Jack yelled in front of other students

34 34 Documentation When situations escalate… Keep healthy perspective about low-level disruption that you can manage and significant disruption that warrants interim action and/or conduct referrals. Talk to deans/supervisors ahead of time to know the extent of your authority. Disruption is still disruption – even the second time. Adequate documentation helps to ensure the process can address the disruption.

35 35 Create record of behavior & intervention Provides clarity to you and the student Allows you to maintain perspective Keeps you in an objective mindset Gives closure Prevents the issue from going on all semester and frustrating you Documentation

36 36 Objective, fact based Write as if the student will read it FERPA – protected You don’t want a student to feel SOLD out. Stay away from: Speculation & Stereotypes Opinions & Labels Diagnoses Documentation

37 37 About the Person Name School ID Number (if available) Relationship (current student, former student, parent, etc) Documentation

38 38 Behavior Observable Actions Words Tone of Voice Body Language Frequency Duration Documentation

39 39 Context When Where Describe unique factors of the situation Documentation

40 40 Details Witnesses Times of incidents Prior interactions with the student Anything else objective that is related Documentation

41 41 Effect Impact to the environment Measure of disruption Impact to your ability to do your job Documentation

42 42 Follow Up/Response How did you or others intervene? How did the student respond? Who else has been notified? Documentation

43 Know what constitutions significant disruption. Use the syllabus and have a discussion to clarify what you expect. Use students’ names. Develop a relationship. Do not assume the A student is not dangerous, and the failing student won’t comply. Talk to your chair and your dean. Call student affairs staff to consult on behavioral issues. Don’t assume the problem will go away or the student will withdraw. Don’t let situations build. Address the lowest level issue before it escalates. Tips for Faculty

44 Know what constitutes significant disruption. Post office expectations. Discuss “what if” situations and have plans in place. Provide phone scripts and suggested responses, especially to student employees. Learn how to balance providing good customer service while not being yelled at. Utilize your office’s strengths, and don’t be afraid to tag team difficult issues. Ask your BIT for training or guidance about referrals. Create ways to track and store information. Tips for Staff

45 45 Things to do when working with disruptive students – Listen and align yourself with the individual. – Don’t take it personally. – Address and approach issues individually as well as systemically. – Be futuristic and solution oriented. – Address the behavior, maintain a relationship with the person. – Know the campus conduct process. – Document incidents to maintain adequate records. Summary

46 Questions? Brian Van BruntLaura Bennett brian.vanbrunt@wku.edulauraaebennett@gmail.com


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