Strategies and scripts you can use when encountering common classroom management challenges

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At one point or another in your teaching career, you’re likely to encounter classroom management challenges. Some of the most common include:

  • What to do when students are talking amongst themselves in class when their attention should be focused on you or a classmate who is speaking about the topic at hand.
  • How to handle students arriving late to class missing out on key learning and disrupting the lesson as they enter the room.
  • How to encourage widespread participation (especially when one or two students are eager to share and tend to dominate conversations with their voices and perspectives).
  • What to do when students seem to disrespect rules that you’ve set.
  • What to do when students offer incorrect, or only partially correct answers to large group discussion questions you’ve asked.
  • How to handle last-minute extension requests when it’s unclear whether students have a compelling reason or not for falling behind.

Our team has created this video role-play for you, where you can see (fictional) faculty member Wanda Tyler-Burns, consulting with Teaching and Learning Consultant Dr. Lauren Spring about some of these common challenges. We hope you find the advice and scripts Lauren offers helpful.

This role-play video was created by Teaching and Learning Consultants Lauren Spring and Adrienne Vanthuyne.

The main topics covered in this video are:

  • The 3 golden rules for classroom management and strategies for upholding them. (01:00-16:10)
  • Why it’s better to get curious, compassionate, and creative instead of angry when classroom management challenges arise; how to uphold a positive environment. (16:10-29:24)
  • How to teach the students you have–not the ones you may have envisioned! (29:25- 33:09)
  • Strategies for navigating student participation conundrums and extension requests. (33:10-45:40)

Lauren Spring

Lauren Spring, PhD, has been a post-secondary educator since 2012. Before joining Conestoga as a Teaching and Learning Consultant, Lauren taught at Wilfrid Laurier, Brock, Ryerson, York, and the University of Toronto where she also completed her PhD in Adult Education and Community Development. She has also led workshops for students and faculty at colleges and universities across the country. Lauren holds an MA in International Development and has expertise in critical disability and mad studies, trauma work, research-based theatre, role-play simulations, and feminist and arts-based approaches to adult education and community engagement. Lauren has also worked as an educator at the Art Gallery of Ontario since 2008 where she designs and delivers art tours and workshops for elementary and high school students and diverse groups of adult learners.

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