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Student Conduct Issues: Action Guidelines and Resource Flowchart for the Graduate Instructor

22 Aug

by Chelsie GawneMark and Ethan Miller


In spite of conscientious preparation and the best intentions the fact remains that bad situations can and will happen to good teachers.  In the course of your career as a Graduate Instructor, you will encounter students who struggle to conduct themselves appropriately in your class, during conference, or in their communications.  Problems can range from the mundane (popping chewing gum, interrupting colleagues or pencil tapping) to the dramatic (shouting, threatening or stalking).

The causes for student conduct issues are as various as students themselves.  College is a time or transition and a nexus of contact.  Young people may be confronted for the first time with the norms and expectations of the adult world.  Adult learners must accommodate a system oriented towards students in their teens and twenties.  For some students, the college environment may seem wide and daunting.  For others, it may be constricting or isolating.  Students may find an outlet for their frustrations in your classroom, your office or your e-mail inbox.

Resolving these situations can be more difficult for Graduate Instructors than other faculty members.  Graduate instructors find themselves in a unique limbo: they lack the status and deference that faculty are typically granted, but are but are encumbered with the same professional obligations for course development and delivery.  When student conduct issues arise, this reality can complicate problem solving.  This document will equip you with insights and strategies to manage student conduct issue, minimizing their impact on your classroom and your life.  When you are stressed and confused it is helpful to have all the resources in one place and this is it.



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