A Classroom Power Tool: Your Syllabus
- We recommend that you include a statement about I-CARE in your syllabus. We have had several students self-refer when they were contemplating suicide or in an abusive situation. We have written the following blurb for you to include or you may create one of your own. “TAMU-CC is committed to the safety and wellbeing of our campus community. If you are in need of support or have a concern about the behavior or safety of a fellow student, you may share your concerns with I-CARE by submitting an online referral to icare.tamucc.edu. Your report will help us to provide outreach, support, and early intervention.”
- Any statements required by your department or college.
- A statement that indicates your expectations about following TAMU-CC’s policies of academic integrity.
- Your attendance policy
- A statement about your expectations regarding civil and respectful classroom behavior.
Make efforts to develop positive relationships with your students
- Arrive early and talk to students as they come into the classroom
- Clearly explain your expectations and provide examples of high-quality work
- Show enthusiasm for your subject and talk with students about the importance and applicability of what you are teaching
- Encourage students who are doing poorly
- Give constructive feedback
- Keep your office hours posted and frequently encourage students to stop by to discuss lecture material, go over exams, and address any questions they may have
- Make yourself familiar with resources available to students and refer students to appropriate resources (CASA, counseling center, career services, etc.)
Promote civility in the classroom
- In addition to including them in your syllabus, periodically discuss your expectations for civility and respectful behavior with your students.
- Model civil behavior (come to class on time and end class on time, treat students respectfully even if you don’t agree with their position, etc.)
- Reduce anonymity in the classroom (learn students’ names, have small group discussions, etc.)
- Make efforts to be approachable and encourage students to talk to you.
- Make attempts to help students connect with what they are learning and apply material to their lives on- and off-campus (use examples, small group learning, discussion questions, etc.)
- Deal with problems/concerns right away rather than ignoring them, hoping they will go away, or waiting until you see a pattern of concerning behavior.
- Announce your expectations in a general manner.
- If need be, talk with the student(s) individually after class is dismissed.
- Remove student from a single class session if disruption continues.
- If problems persist, please do not hesitate to report the student to Student Conduct & Community Standards. Kristina Yzaguirre, Conduct Officer, can be reached at 825-6219, email@example.com.
Become familiar with University policies regarding disruptive, threatening or dangerous behavior, and follow procedures accordingly. Do not hesitate to seek consultation from others if you need assistance with problem behavior in your classroom.
Permission granted by Stephen F. Austin State University to use the information provided on this website; information adapted from Michael B. Brown, PhD, “Preventing and Dealing with Classroom Disruption.”