Online & Onsite Teaching Library > For ONSITE Instructors > Classroom Teaching Challenges
Why is this important?
Instructors enter a classroom hoping to pass on skills, content, knowledge, and passion. They create constructive learning environments in which to inspire their students to learn, work hard and succeed. Part of our job as teachers is to help all of our students stay focused on their goals of becoming successful artists by helping them stay motivated and engaged. However, it can be challenging to reach such goals when students' behavior gets in the way. This page points you to strategies for address various classroom issues, from lateness to disruptive behavior to plagiarism.
Learn more: Review the Academy's Academic Code of Conduct and the Faculty Manual.
Try these strategies to help you address some of the typical challenges that arise in the classroom.
Anticipate challenges and clarify policies on the first day.
As we all know, hindsight is 20/20. Many instructors reach week 10 of the semester overwhelmed with perpetually late or disruptive students affecting their class and wish they had made policies and expectations clearer at the beginning.
Learn more: Addressing Classroom Challenges Proactively
In the professional arena, respect is reciprocal: you show respect to the client and expect it in return. The same is true for respect and civility in the classroom. Respect needs to be mutual between the teacher and the students: a respect for one another and for the learning community.
As stress mounts and students start checking out, the threads of community you have built within your class can begin to unravel. Bringing respect to the foreground once again promotes a positive learning environment, builds on existing community, and demonstrates professionalism.
Learn more: Modeling Respect and Civility in the Classroom
Get students to class on time.
Habitually late students can disrupt the learning environment in your class. What's more, tolerating lateness may perpetuate a bad habit that will not serve your students as professional artists in the future. Make a plan for preventing and responding to lateness in your classroom.
Learn more: Getting Students to Class on Time | Beginning and Ending On Time
Address challenging behaviors quickly in order to minimize their impact.
High stress levels in individual students can lead to high stress levels in classes, which can, in turn, lead to challenging behaviors. Disruptive students often dominate or derail class discussions and/or confront the instructor in angry or aggressive ways. These behaviors can take many forms and if left unchecked can create an uncomfortable learning environment for everyone.
Learn more: Addressing Challenging Behaviors | Dealing with Disruptive Students | Motivating Stressed-Out Students
Familiarize yourself with the AAU excused lateness policy, so you can apply it appropriately.
The Academy of Art University has clear policies on excused absence, and it is important to understand that by adhering to this policy, instructors are not bending the rules. These are the rules. The intent of the policy is to hold all students accountable for producing work that meets the quality standards for that class, while not unfairly penalizing students who, through no fault of their own, must miss occasional classes.
Learn more: Applying the Excused Absence Policy to Late Work
Plan for plagiarism.
In this digital age, information and images are easier to copy than ever before, and our students' critical thinking skills are being compromised. It's important for instructors to do all they can to prevent plagiarism — and to address it quickly if and when they suspect it.
Learn more: Deterring and Discussing Plagiarism
Keep students focused in computer classrooms.
Digital distractions are everywhere these days! As the instructor in a computer classroom, you will need to make a special effort to combat the lure of digital devices, whether desktop or handheld.
Learn more: Keeping Students Focused in Computer Classrooms
Start the summer off right.
Because the summer session is so short, immediately setting the tone, clarifying expectations and establishing strong rapport for your class is essential.
Learn more: Starting the Summer on the Right Foot