Tuesday, October 3
Over at See Jane Compute, there is a discussion about how to tell rude students who are talking in your class to be quiet without losing your cool. There are some interesting ideas, I was especially intrigued by the suggestion to use humor.

But what if none of those approaches work? I have wondered in the past, is it okay to tell students to leave the class? After all, if they are paying for it, can you tell them to get out? What if it doesn't say explicitly in your syllabus that you expect people to be respectful and quiet unless they are contributing to class discussion? (And how often does one explicitly add that to a syllabus? Hmm.. I wonder if I should in the future.)

Is that something you would ever say to a student? Or do you think that may be problematic? If it's problematic and the other methods don't work, how do you get students to be quiet?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Of course you can tell disruptive students to leave. And you should. If "paying tuition" matters in this case, it matters for everyone, not just the troublemakers. "Paying tuition" is not the same as a license to do whatever the hell you want in a classroom. And the rest of the class has a stronger ethical claim that their money's being frittered away by instructors who don't keep disruptive students in check.

fraud, in denim said...

Hell yes! I don't know if I could do it, although I've wanted to a time or two, but I think it's perfectly acceptable.

Call those students on their behavior. It's much harder for you to teach, and others to learn, with that going on in the background.

thistle said...

I saw a prof tell a student to leave, and then when the student didn't leave the prof called campus security. The student left before security got there, but not before some big burly frat-type students threatened to bodily remove him.

trollopeboy said...

Once, after repeated warnings, I asked a particularly chatty student to leave. She emailed me about a day later offering to talk to me about "our communication problem" I replied that "we" didn't have a problem and I was eager to have her back in class if (and only if) she could confine her talking to the acceptable norms. Never had another bit of trouble from her --or the rest of the students.

Delaney Kirk said...

You can and should ask a student to leave if the behavior is disruptive and interferring with the other students' learning. However, that's an extreme stance. I would prefer other more subtle approaches first--I find humor does work well. A big part of it is letting the students know that you are aware of their behavior.