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Classroom Management: If you are concerned

Classroom management is a term used by teachers to describe the process of ensuring that classroom lessons run smoothly despite disruptive behavior by students. The term also implies the prevention of disruptive behavior.

For non-emergencies call Counseling Service at 360.475.7530 or email us at counselingservices@oc.ctc.edu.  We are located in the Advising and counseling Center (HSS 203) and our hours are between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.  Depending on the issue we will determine the most appropriate response; this is either the Behavioral Intervention Team or it is treated as an Academic Alert and one of the counselors will take the lead. 

For emergencies call Campus Safety at 360.475.7800 or dial 911.  This is when there is a threat to the student or others.

Common signs/symptoms

The following are common signs/symptoms that may indicate someone could benefit from a conversation with a counselor:

  • Mood: Extreme sadness, anxiety, anger, mood swings;
  • Physical signs: Deteriorating grooming habits, signs of substance abuse (e.g., dilated pupils, unsteady gait, slurred words, or the smell of alcohol); 
  • Performance: Concentration difficulties, disruptive/aggressive behavior, unexplained lateness or absences, deteriorating work habits or academic performance,
  • Social behavior: Isolating or withdrawing from others, overly dependent;
  • Speech: Offensive language. irrational speech, unusually rapid or slow speech, frequent references to problems, talk of feeling guilty or worthless, and references to death or suicide.

Level 1 
These behaviors, although not disruptive to others, may indicate that something is wrong and that help may be needed:

  • Serious grade problems or a change from consistently good grades to poor performance
  • Excessive absences, especially if the student had previously demonstrated good, consistent class attendance;
  • Unusual or markedly changed pattern of interaction, i.e., totally avoiding participation, becoming excessively anxious when called upon, dominating discussions, etc.;
  • Other characteristics that suggest the student is having trouble managing stress successfully include a depressed, lethargic mood, being excessively active and talkative (very rapid speech), swollen, red eyes, marked change in personal dress and hygiene, sweaty (when room is not hot), and falling asleep. 

Level 2 
These behaviors may indicate significant emotional distress, but also a reluctance or inability to acknowledge a need for more personal help:

  • Repeated requests for special consideration, such as deadline extensions, especially if the student appears uncomfortable or highly emotional disclosing the circumstances prompting the request;
  • New or regularly occurring behavior which pushes the limits of decorum and which interferes with the effective management of the immediate environment;
  • Unusual or exaggerated emotional response which is obviously inappropriate to the situation.

 Level 3 
These behaviors usually show a student who is in obvious crisis and who needs emergency care:

  • Highly disruptive (hostile, aggressive, violent, etc.)
  • Inability to communicate clearly (garbled, slurred speech, unconnected or disjointed thoughts);
  • Loss of contact with realty (seeing/hearing things which aren't there, beliefs or actions greatly at odds with reality or probability);
  • Overtly suicidal thoughts (referring to suicide as a current option);
  • Homicidal threats.

Again, if you are concerned about a student who is exhibiting characteristics of emotional distress, try to remain calm.  Formulate a plan if you wish to address the issue on your own in consultation with one of the counselors.  We are pleased to help you create a plan:

  • Assess the situation, its seriousness, and the potential for referral;
  • Determine resources, both on and off campus, so you can suggest the appropriate help available to the student;
  • Discuss the best ways to make the referral, if appropriate;
  • Clarify your own feelings about the student and consider the ways you can be most effective. 

OC Behavior Intervention Team

If a faculty member has concerns about a student’s behavior after attempting to address the issue, they may refer the student to the BIT. The BIT exists to address proactively student behaviors that may indicate risk of harm to self or others, while carefully balancing individual student needs with those of the greater campus community.

The goal of the BIT is to intervene in a student situation before it escalates into an urgent or discipline matter. Faculty and staff may use the Incident Reporting form to file a report online.