Western Kentucky University

Dealing with Aggression in the Classroom - Tips - FaCET

Dealing with Aggression in the Classroom

Tip Sheet No . 23

from the CTL workshop:

October 10, 1996
Horace Johnson, Howard Bailey, Richard Greer

1. It is better to report problem behavior and ask for help rather than try to handle it ourselves. Be more preventive or proactive instead of reactive. If you have a student who is a “pain” or a possibly violent student, don’t wait until it turns serious.

2. Call Public Safety for violence involving personal injury or threatening; call the Dean of Student Life for less dangerous behavior.
3. Keep the following phone numbers available for necessary intervention. These offices communicate with each other so the process is not politicized. Counseling Services Center 3159; Student Life 2791; Public Safety 2548

4. There is more violence at the secondary education level. We need to use that as a predictor for later actions.

5. Violence is anxiety--the violent person is scared and anxious. If we can reduce the levels of anxiety, maybe we can reduce the violence. There are different degrees of violence.

6. Clarity (or control of the situation), caring (or respect) and courtesy reduces the incidence of anxiety & frustration, in turn reducing the chance of aggressive behavior.

7. We need to acknowledge the feeling but let the person know the behavior is unacceptable.

8. Speak slowly, quietly and confidently if a student is being hostile or aggressive to prevent the situation from turning violent.

9. “Ask for small, specific favors, such as asking the person to move to a quieter area.”

10. Do not invade the individual’s personal space. Keep about 3 to 6 feet between you and the individual. [The last two tips are from a handout available at the CTL.]

For more information about this workshop, contact the CTL staff or any of the following individuals who attended:
Patty Silfies, Jamalya Luney; Camille Johnson; Carmin Williams; Douglas Moss; Nancy Goldfarb; Dorcey Grice.


The Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching
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Location: 1783 Chestnut Street, Bowling Green, KY 42101.
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