Difficult Teaching Situations Fall 2011

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Brainstorming Some Difficult Teaching Situations

  1. Racist or hate-based comments in classroom
  2. Cheating
  3. Non-responsive learners
  4. Disruptive students
  5. Lack of confidence as instructor on a complex topic
  6. How to encourage students to meed deadlines
  7. How handle unprepared students (no readings)
  8. Handling controversial comments and difficult individuals
  9. Dealing with students who only care about their grades and feel entitle to them
  10. How to support students with personal problems
  11. Dealing with overwhelming number of students and not able to provide enough time/feedback
  12. How to encourage and communicate with students lagging behind
  13. How to convey learning objectives to students without getting proper advice/instructions from instructor
  14. Disrespectful behaviour from students
  15. Being strict but fair with regard to misconduct in class
  16. Dealing with group project presentations that fall short of the expected requirements (particularly if they go first)

Possible Solutions to Difficult Teaching Situations

Student with personal problems:

  • Suggest counselling resources

Disruptive and/or disrespectful students:

  • Favouring one on one instead of publicly discussing bad behaviour
  • The opposite approach would be to challenge the student right away

Entitilment to grades:

  • Clear course expectations in terms of grading rubrics
  • Managing TA resources so that marking is more homogenous
  • Students asking for better marks should be able to articulate why they should get a better mark

Students not well prepared:

  • Pre-assign/test the readings before students get to the tutorial.