A. "Getting Started with Managing Classroom Conflict" (post) lists "strategies that instructors have used to create a safe classroom environment and to manage conflict as it arises."
B. The Specific Suggestions
1. "Understand What Incivility Is & Why it Happens"
- "Reflect on both your own and your students’ expectations for behavior in the classroom."
- "Realize that students come to class with their own biases, experiences, and relationships with learning that may influence their reaction to you and your class."
- "Know that if incivilities are not dealt with properly, it has negative impacts on student learning."
2. "General Strategies for Handling Conflict in Classrooms"
- "Rather than avoid potentially charged course content, anticipate conflict and be prepared to respond."
- "SOAR (stop, observe, assess, react)."
- "Acknowledge emotions ('I see that you’re upset,' or 'I understand that this is a powerful topic for you')."
- "Think of the moment as a learning opportunity and present it as such to students."
- "Focus dialogue on academic concepts rather than personal opinions."
- "Give students a few minutes to write a personal response to the situation. Collect these and prepare a response in the next class."
- "Listen and restate perspectives, especially if one student is receiving all of the heat ('What I think ____ is trying to say is...')."
- "Meet individually with students if necessary."
3. "If Students are Behaving in a Disruptive Manner ... "
- "Observe and control your emotional reaction to feelings of being challenged or threatened."
- "Be aware of your body language and what you are communicating through your actions."
- "Address behaviors, not people."
- "Uphold class norms. Address issues that arise each and every time and remain consistent in how you deal with students. Refer to your own class guidelines."
- "Ask to speak to student(s) in private."
4. "When Meeting Privately with Students ..."
- "Ask students to explain what occurred."
- "Listen empathetically. Acknowledge emotions by repeating what you understand their issues to be."
- "With student(s), brainstorm possible solutions."
- "Help students evaluate these solutions through comprehensive problem solving."
5. "Create a Safe & Effective Learning Environment"
- "Get to know students’ names and interests and be open to telling them a bit about yourself."
- "Be available for office hours."
- "Take a few minutes before and after class to interact with students."
- "Dedicate time for community building and peer learning opportunities (i.e., ice breakers, group work)."
- "Have students create their own goals for the class."
- "Make your course relevant by connecting course content to the 'real world.'"
- "Include a non-discrimination policy in your syllabus."
- "Use your syllabus as a “class contract” and include guidelines for group work and classroom interactions."
- "Share authority by getting students’ feedback about classroom guidelines and incorporate their contributions."
6. "Use Inclusive Teaching Practices"
- "Communicate clear expectations."
- "Incorporate diversity in choosing what texts, films, etc. students will encounter during the course."
- "Use a variety of teaching strategies that reach different learning modalities."
- "Provide various methods for students to demonstrate learning."
- "Learn about/reflect upon the various social identities that make up your class. Monitor how these dynamics play out in your classroom setting."
- "Critically reflect on your teaching practice."
- "Assess classroom climate periodically. Have students respond to prompts anonymously on index cards that you can collect easily for review. Some sample prompts:"
- "I feel comfortable participating in class: Yes; Always; Sometimes; Never"
- "One thing that would help me be more comfortable is: ___________."
7. "Setting up & Managing Group Work"
- "Arrange groups with intention (mix of skills, identities, and personalities). In large classes, assign randomly."
- "Create tasks that encourage interdependence."
- "Have groups create their own plans for approaching the task and dealing with potential conflict."
- "Include self and peer assessment as a small part of the evaluation (ratings for group work effectiveness)."
- "Assign roles within the group and switch roles throughout."
8. "Additional Key Actions"
a. "Six Key Actions for Active Listening"
- "Check for understanding."
- "Probe for information and feelings."
- "Encourage/Show empathy."
- "Show verbal and non-verbal attentiveness."
b. "Five Key Actions for Constructive Feedback"
- "Convey your positive intent."
- "Describe specifically what you have observed."
- "State the impact of the behavior or actions."
- "Ask the other person to respond."
- "Focus the discussion on solutions (not blame)."
c. S"ix Key Actions for Resolving Conflict"
- "Recognize emotions."
- "Briefly describe the problem and share your positive intentions."
- "Actively listen and seek FIRST to understand."
- "Share your perspective of the problem and the impact."
- "Work together on an action plan or next steps."
- "Check for progress and express thanks."