When Funny Turns to Disruptive

The Case of the Cantankerous Canary

Even the most benign student behaviors may need to be addressed.  Here is an example.

An experienced Earth Science adjunct came to my office to ask me for advice.  She was teaching in a tiered classroom which was filled to its capacity with 48 students.  It seemed that one young man was far more interested in getting laughs from his classmates than learning about plate tectonics.  The instructor told me that when she turned to write something on the white board he made bird calls.  This quickly went from funny to disrespectful and disruptive.  “What should I do?” my instructor asked. ..... (read more)