January 31, 2007, by Teaching at Nottingham

Classroom management and mobile phones

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Martin Luck: “I think it takes a while to build up an armory of methods for dealing with these situations.

  • How do you deal with a mobile phone when it goes off?
  • How do you deal with late comers?
  • How do you deal with somebody suddenly getting up and going in the middle of a lecture?

“To somebody entering out in teaching I think it sometimes takes a little bit of confidence to deal with those, but with a bit of experience it can be dealt with and I think on the whole I would tend to ignore those kind of disturbances.

“I like to treat students as adults, they are in lectures, I assume because they want to learn something, or hear me talk to them. If they don’t want to be there, then I would prefer that they weren’t. If they want to turn up late, then that is really their problem and not mine, provided they don’t disturb the rest of the class and they are reasonably discreet about it.

“Mobile phones are a big problem and sometimes I ignore it, and sometimes if I’m feeling really bright I make a snide comment about it, but that just depends how it goes.

“I think on the whole disturbances are something that we just have to live with, but show by your demeanor that you are not being swayed by it, that there is a discipline that goes on in the session, and the students have to go along with that discipline if the session is to be effective.”

Martin Luck
School of Biosciences.

Martin was a Lord Dearing Award winner in 1999. See highlights from other LDA winners. Produced January 2007.
This video was originally published as part of PESL’s Teaching at Nottingham collection.

Posted in LecturesTeaching