Carnegie Mellon University

Eberly Center

Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation

Prepare in advance: consider how you will respond

Whether you anticipate difficult dialogues in class because of the course content, you are concerned about maintaining a good classroom climate, or you want to be ready in case external events make their way into the classroom, it is good to think ahead about how you would react in situations of heightened student emotions.

  • Know your personal triggers. Everyone has biases, pet peeves, and things that push their buttons. Being aware of what causes an intense emotional response in you will help you manage those feelings if a triggering event occurs in the classroom or you have to manage student emotions.


Huston, T. A., & DiPietro, M. (2007). In the eye of the storm: Students perceptions of helpful faculty actions following a collective tragedy. In D. R. Robertson & L. B. Nilson (Eds.) To Improve the Academy. Vol 25. Resources for faculty, instructional, and organizational development (pp. 207-224). Bolton, MA: Anker.


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