Jones: SHSU students need to stop disrupting class and pay attention
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 12:10
Imagine you’re a college professor. You take the time out of your life, preparing your lectures and assignments, to stand in front of 20-something-year-olds to teach them information they will use for their majors. You anticipate their full attention and expect them to give you the respect you deserve. Why is this? Because the students are adults who pay money to listen to you speak for 50-70 minutes. Instead, you look up to find more than half of the class talking over you, packing up extremely early or blatantly texting/on the Internet with their phones in front of their faces after you’ve made it perfectly clear that you have a strict ‘no phones’ policy. How would this make you feel, readers? Pretty upset, huh?
This is a message to my fellow students. Stop being idiotic, rude and disrespectful in the classroom.
Let’s begin with the first thing you’ve done wrong: talking over a professor when he/she is speaking. Have you ever noticed when a professor says something interesting or funny, the entire class gets riled up and sees this as an opportunity to have loud conversations to the point of disruption? If you haven’t, take notice of the professor’s reaction. He/she gets progressively louder and almost has to yell over the class. Sometimes they even stop talking to see if the students will notice.
Students, save your conversations for after class. Sure, if something funny or thought-provoking is said, you might have a laugh or a comment to say but there’s a time limit. Eventually, your conscience should tell you that this has gone on for far too long and your professor is waiting on you to continue his/her lecture.
This brings us to rant number two: packing up early. It’s 9:40 and your class ends at 9:50. Is 10 minutes early really a good time to start shuffling your papers, zipping your backpack, slamming your books down and getting ready to depart? No. Your professor still demands 10 minutes of your precious time, if you even care. You’ve just spend 20 percent of your class time looking like an idiot. Now your professor is uncomfortably looking back and forth from his/her watch to the class. She is wondering if the clock is 10 minutes slow and now she feels she must cut the lecture short because you’ve so rudely and disruptively interrupted her train of thought.
Can’t you wait, like a normal person, until 9:49 to start packing up? Or maybe you could be a little less shuffle-y and zippy and a little less obvious that you want to get the hell out of there? You have intuition of what’s right and what’s wrong so use that knowledge, people.
Finally, you text, Facebook, Instagram and Tweet during class like you don’t give a flying…squirrel. At Sam Houston, we have a strict no phone policy, in case you haven’t noticed. Some professors enforce this rule while others do not; however, if your professor has made it perfectly clear that texting in class is offensive and disrespectful, why would you hold your phone out in front of your face so that everyone, including your professor, can see that you’d rather toy around on your phone than pay attention? Some of you even do this when you’re sitting on the first row.
If you don’t want to come to class to listen and learn, then don’t bother coming. I can understand checking the time or seeing if you have a text but don’t reply to the text. It can wait another few minutes. And those online posts aren't going anywhere. Do you really want to be on your professor’s bad side? I think not.
Students at SHSU, and certainly students all over the world, have a problem. They’re addicted to their phones and they have short attention spans. They’d rather be somewhere else than in the classroom learning, which is what they spend thousands of dollars to do. I believe these are crappy excuses to interrupt class.
Professors should not have to put up with their students' crap. The instructors should enforce their policies consistently and should remove disruptive students if they fail to comply. These thoughtless actions are downright rude and impolite. We are all staring at the back of your head--students who do the above--wishing you would leave or we could take that phone out of your hand and stomp on it.
Stop what you’re doing and think of your professor. Are your actions what they should be? Do you really believe that what you’re doing makes your professors or others around you respect you? If you’re not going to pay attention in class, don’t show up. At least give your professor the opportunity to teach those students who want to learn and who want to be there.
So if you want to get a good education and pass your classes, put down your phone, stay unpacked until the class is over and keep your conversations to a minimum. This isn't high school and you should be appreciative of your professors' hard work and efforts. Maybe then you can present yourself as an adult, a college student and someone who can be admired by others.