Tips for Managing Student Behavior

Q & A with Sean Glassberg

Do you have trouble managing your student behavior? Do you notice that your students sometimes lack the ability to pay attention to your lectures? Learn how you can better react to problematic behaviors by keeping your students "active."

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What are some of the main roadblocks to keeping students attentive during classroom time?

More often than not, students may be inattentive due to the classroom climate: Is the instructor engaging? Has the instructor created an environment in which students are expected/required to be actively involved? Does the instructor use teaching techniques that require active participation? Is the instructor a “guide on the side” instead of a “sage on the stage”? 

In my experience, I find I can hold student attention more effectively if I vary my teaching style. Perhaps I can lecture for 10 minutes, then post a brainstorm question, review the answers for five minutes, return to the lecture for another 10 or 15 minutes, and finally give a brief group activity designed to assess their understanding. 

What tactics can teachers apply right now to keep their students better engaged in the classroom setting?

Review active learning strategies; there are so many out there: Think-Pair-Share, Brainstorming, Numbered Heads Together, and Four Corners, to name a few. I like to Google “Active Learning Strategies” just to see if there is something else I can try in my classroom.

What are some of the special challenges that arise in a massage therapy classroom setting?

I’d imagine that massage therapy instructors may sometimes view themselves as therapists who teach.  However, it’s important that the instructors view themselves as educators first. 

How do you define an “active” student?

An active student is one who is given the opportunity to engage with concepts in a variety of different ways.  Educators do themselves and their students a disservice if they do not respond to the multiple intelligences in the classroom. An active student is provided with a classroom structure in which active engagement is not expected–it is required.

Why do teachers need to attend your session “Managing Student Behavior in the Classroom” at the AMTA 2013 Schools Summit?

From what I hear on my “circuit” (working with post-secondary educators all over the country), the ability to manage behavior is a critical skill. This workshop not only provides sound techniques to handle common behaviors, but it also refocuses the minds of educators as they hopefully begin to think of themselves as shapers, trainers and changers.

One of the main goals of this workshop is to raise the awareness of educators who are doing more than just teaching techniques and skill sets–they are training future massage therapists to behave professionally and execute hands-on skills.

» Read more about Sean's session "Managing Student Behavior in the Classroom" taking place at AMTA 2013 Schools Summit.

As Director of Faculty Development at Horry Georgetown Technical College in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Glassberg has ample experience in helping postsecondary faculty better manage their classrooms and improve their teaching. Glassberg is also a faculty trainer and consultant for more than 100 community/technical colleges and universities across the country.


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