Some education on classroom etiquette

Diana Anaya/Contributing Writer

The more I look around, the more I notice a growing level of disrespect in my classes. People coming in 30 minutes late in a 50 minute course, always seated in the back and leaning over to loudly ask someone whether they could borrow their notes. These have always been little things I’ve seen in students behavior that have ticked me off, but I feel that recently, classroom etiquette has reached an all time low.

It’s more obvious in larger classes: in the auditoriums with rows so far back that the professor can’t see students texting or talking, occasionally shushing them when the buzz of chatter gets too loud. But it’s happening in smaller classrooms too, with students shopping on Amazon or texting their friends while sitting in the front row, the teacher watching them flagrantly ignore the lecture.

And it’s not just disrespect towards the professors; it’s disrespect to the students, the ones that show up on time and care about the course. Besides having the gall to ask for notes, there are some students that come in late, or are obviously not paying attention for most of the class, and then have the audacity to raise their hand and ask questions or make comments that have already been stated. A mixture of annoyance and embarrassment is created because everyone who’s been listening knows it has already been said, and the professor’s doesn’t always call them out on it.

And the eating during class – use some common sense. Most professors, in my experience, don’t have a problem with it. I always have my lunch in class, but for some things you’ve just got to wait until the class is over. I don’t care how hungry you are; I do not want to smell your Subway sandwich or heated up rice and beans. Also, if you’re wondering if the crinkling of your potato chip bag and chewing of the chips is too loud, it probably is.

Not to mention, as I’ve already stated: the late arrivals. And I’m not talking about people who every once in awhile are a few minutes late; they may have had car troubles or traffic was bad, any normal excuse. It’s the students that are constantly tardy, showing up in the middle of class with their headphones on and hood up, not even looking at the professor’s face.

More often than not their entrance halts the teacher’s thought process; whatever they were saying slows down, their focus disrupted by the inconsiderate student. My own attention is broken as well as that of the entire class as we watch the student shamble to their seat, pulling out pen and paper for mere appearances – they’re not going taking notes.

So if this is you, if you frequently participate in any of these activities, a word of advice: get your life figured out or quit coming to class. College may be fun and games to you, but the students that take it seriously view this as the path to a career and future success. Or, at the very least, make yourself as inconspicuous as possible; engage in all your disrespectful behavior in perfect silence – in short, be invisible.
And if you’re the student who shows up to every class on time and participates or takes notes, don’t be afraid to throw a dirty look at these culprits. They deserve it.