Thursday, October 16, 2014

Let the Learning Continue. From the Baylor Lariat.

You're done
when I say
you're done!
Several times on any given day, students begin to nervously eye their watches, slide their phones from their pockets or glance at hallways where other students are roaming. All this in anticipation of the moment when an instructor finishes a sentence with just the right inflection that signals class is finally over.

It’s an anxious two to three minutes that consist of an even longer train of thought in students’ minds. Will my professor mind if I leave right now? Is class technically over?



  1. This one, I actually kind of agree with. I hate standing outside of a classroom waiting for someone with poor time management to end a class. But it happens to me, too -- I lose track of time sometimes. What puzzles me is why students don't just say, "I think we're out of time." They're afraid to point out the time, but not to beg me for a grade change. So odd.

  2. Alarm Clock Extreme for Android solved this one for me. I programmed in a 10-minute warning tone before the end of every class, and then slowly fades in rock music 1 minute before the end. I train the Little Dears to know that I will end class on time, and then shoot Death Rays with my eyes at anyone "slowly zipping up the backpack 5 minutes before the end."

  3. slowly fading in ...? That doesn't solve the problem. Gak. Gotta run.

  4. I agree with this also. We have a giant clock in all our classrooms which is visible to everyone, and while I do not appreciate students noisily packing up their belongings 5 minutes before class ends, nor do I ever keep them later, since I can see the clock, I just manage everything so that we end on time (typically, 1 minute before the clock hits the actual end of class) Admittedly this is easier since I don't teach a real subject, just a pass/fail "intro to college life" course for freshmen, but even so, I don't think it's fair to keep students past the scheduled end of class. Many of mine have back-to-back classes all day without even any time for lunch, or they have to get to their campus jobs, or they have appointments with advisers or other professors, etc. Perhaps it's harder for those who teach real subjects. The one time the clock was broken, I used my cell phone alarm as Proffie Galore describes. When I teach martial arts I bring my own clock unless I know the studio has a clock with a face on the wall (I find it harder to manage class time with only a digital clock).

    I'm never sure how to interpret the dismissive "First World problems" statements. I am in no way describing this minor etiquette issue as comparable to, say, not having access to fresh drinking water, vaccinations, schooling, food, or any measure of personal safety. But if we just dismiss every problem as an insignificant "first world problem," then we just accept everything as it is because hey, it's not as bad as starvation, disease, rape, slavery, etc, so who are we to complain about, say, income inequality, when we have clean drinking water?

    1. My intention was that the problems the students have were minor. Now that they're chronologically adults, it's up to them to not schedule back-to-back classes on opposite sides of the campus, especially if they have the attitude that an eight o' clock class is too terrible to even consider.
      I don't feel that the proffies' problem of students mentally checking out before the end of class is minor. I mourn the passing of the notion that the professor was deserving of respect, instead of treating him/her as a grade barista.

  5. I agree entirely. Not having clean drinking water is terrible. But that doesn't mean that income inequality is not a bad thing. And it doesn't mean that discourtesy is not a bad thing.