Whilst aiming to avoid confrontation is the best idea, this sometimes becomes very difficult.

Sometimes students need a very clear reality check to make them face a situation or take responsibility for an action. Use the following principles to help you manage confrontation:

Three suggestions

What really happened?

‘Tom, your lecturer tells me you are a constantly disruptive presence in class. I would like to hear your side of the story.’

In an instance where decisions may be appealed against, consult your Senior Tutor or Postgraduate Tutor about the correct procedures.

Focus on facts

Don’t argue with students. If you are discussing a decision taken by someone else, remember you don’t have to defend that decision. Aim to be supportive, yet impartial. As you are unlikely to be fully responsible for any decision, you still have room to be sympathetic.

Keep focusing on facts

If a student has been suspended, stand firm and do not confuse the issue. Tell them about any appeal procedure, if applicable, and advise whether you think it would be worth it for the student to appeal.  We recommend that you consult the Senior Tutor or Postgraduate Tutor on this.  Encourage students to take their time and consult others for advice.  The Advice Centre offers assistance to all Imperial College students and is free, confidential and independent of the College.  Breathing space often gives a fresh perspective on problems.

(Thanks to Reading University for source material for these points)