By Hailey Bullis, Staff Writers
If you’ve ever wondered if your professors realize whether or not you’re on your phone or not reading your assigned reading chapters, the answer is yes they do. They also realize when you don’t show up to class or when you think you’re getting away with something.
On syllabus day, professors outline their expectations and requirements of their students. This often includes no cell phone usage and their attendance policies. They also expect that students show up to lectures and take notes. However, these requirements are not always met, and it leads to professors having some very understandable pet peeves. These pet peeves include, not showing up to class, not completing assignments on time, not paying attention, and not being prepared for class.
For religion 100 professor Todd Brown, one of his biggest pet peeves is when students do not do their reading. His other pet peeve is when students don’t participate in class.
“Students not discussing or contributing in class because they’re either embarrassed or they think they don’t know the material when in fact once they do start to speak up and engage, they really know what they’re talking about,” said Brown.
In comparison, Alfred Carter, who teaches Spanish 210, follows the “flipped classroom” approach to learning in their foreign language classes. This requires students to learn the material outside of class, so they can master it while in class.
Carter said his biggest pet peeve was when students do not complete their homework before coming to class. “In following kind of a flipped classroom design and where people are supposed to do their homework in preparation before class and then come to class ready to go, when they haven’t done the homework they’re not ready to go,” said Carter.
This leads to the dilemma of whether to backtrack and teach the material to those who haven’t completed the homework or ignore them and teach the students who have.
And yes, professors do notice when students do not show up to class regularly, “Even if I don’t take attendance, after the course of the semester you can tell who’s there, who’s not, who’s trying and who’s not. So, yeah, I can tell exactly who’s there, who shows up consistently, and who shows up very sporadically,” said Brown when asked if he notices when students are absent.
For Rutledge Dennis, a sociology 101 professor, his pet peeve is students missing class “Missing class is, I think, is the biggest pet peeve I have. I have a large class, I’ve taught a large class for many years and I think I’m a pretty good lecturer and I’m very consciousness about preparing my lectures so that they make sense, so that they form a coherent whole. So I’m annoyed that students don’t come to class as regularly as they should,” said Dennis.
When asked the same question, Carter shared that he did notice attendance as well, “Unbeknownst to the students, once I know them all, right after class or if they’re doing an activity in class, then I take out a sheet and I write out who’s not there,” said Carter.
Another big problem in the classroom is cell phone usage or the use of electronics for purposes other than taking notes, “When they’re watching porn or TV Shows on their laptops while I’m lecturing or when they’re chatting with each other on their phones it’s obvious but it’s also not my responsibility to moderate the behavior of children. If they choose to do that, they choose to do that,” said Susan Schulze, a history professor.
Professors also realize when students try to get things past their professors. “Students often think they’re getting away with not being prepared. When it’s pretty easy to see when you see other students performing and this one doesn’t. Or they think when there’s a homework handout, that as a teacher, I can’t see that your page is blank,” said Carter.
Brown also highlighted that he once got an email from a student giving an excuse as to why they weren’t in class and how he later saw that student on campus that same day.
“A lot of things students think they’re getting away with they’re not really getting away with. We just choose not to comment because it’s just an expenditure of energy that’s a waste of time. I guess if I did have a pet peeve, the pet peeve would be the perception of a student who’s gotten away with something who thinks that they’ve actually gotten away with it because no one has commented upon it. When in fact we really just don’t want to have to bother with it. That sense of perverse accomplishment on the part of the student, that would be a pet peeve for me,” said Schulze.
“It’s a good thing that memory is not always a permanent thing so you can forget from semester to semester some of the stuff that people have done in the past and not hold it against future students,” said Carter.
Photo by Allie Thompson