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I've sometimes had discipline problems in my classes, but I've found
that it varies depending on the school.  The factors that seemed to
be most strongly related to such problems have been:

     -  college in a small town rather than a big city (the students
        seem to have less life experience with people not like themselves)

     -  number of athletes in the class (who are not serious about
        academics)

     -  developmental course level (lower levels engender more resentment
        from students and also students with poorer skills often have
        more serious social problems)

     -  age of students (I sometimes request evening classes because
        the students are older and more serious)

     -  how selective the admissions policy is (but developmental
        students are not necessarily disruptive, especially if
        they are a bit older and realize that without skills they
        aren't going anywhere)

While I agree that creating the right rapport with students helps
a lot, it is sometimes true that no matter how hard you try, some
students just resent being in that class and the most dedicated
teachers can't reach them.  I think disruptive behavior is often
an expression of defensiveness and fear of stupidity; knowing that
enables me to reach some students, but not all.  The
student also has to be willing to let the teacher in.

Annette Gourgey
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