Noon classes are not my favorite. Most noon classes consist of students battling low blood sugar and total apathy. Every once in awhile, I get a noon class that’s attentive, but it’s so rare these days that I am starting to think I may have made up good noon class memories somewhere in my overactive imagination.
I had one noon class several years ago that had me act completely and utterly out of character. I’m an odd bird in that I usually don’t mind cell phones in the classroom. I’ve a number of ESOL students who have dictionary apps on their cells that I certainly permit (and I do so with everyone, actually, because no one seems to know how to spell correctly, and very few of my students nowadays have broad vocabularies). I also believe in modeling behavior: I tell my students that I keep my cell out in case of family emergencies, and if they are in similar circumstances, they should feel free to do the same. My (more than lenient) cell phone rules are as follows:
1. No texting.
2. Silent or vibrate mode.
3. No talking on the phone while you’re in the classroom.
4. If you must take a call, do so outside of the classroom and speak quietly.
The noon class that had me batty really didn’t care for rule number one. I got the feeling that on the first day of class when I went over the syllabus and classroom conduct rules, they all merely heard, “I don’t mind cell phone use, BUT…” Anything indicated otherwise after the word “but” was merely white noise, I suppose (or else they heard the “WAH-WAH-WAH-WAH-WAAAAAH” of Charlie Brown’s teacher). My role constantly switched from Professor Darling to Professor Angrypants so much so that I felt a bit Jekyll/Hydey by the end of the day.
One day, I’d had it though. I didn’t even bother with the chastising (if one were to call it that). I simply stopped my lesson/lecture, loudly cleared my throat, gathered up my belongings, and left the classroom…just left them all there to text away. I stayed in my office for the remainder of that class period. Again, it was out of character for me. I NEVER leave the classroom (unless I have to use the loo). I especially took the risk in that I was merely an adjunct (easily replaced, in other words). I didn’t care though. I just didn’t have it in me.
During the next class period, strangely enough, everybody was attentive, and NO one had his or her cell phone out. I wish I could say it was like that for the remainder of the term, but for the most part, the second half of it wasn’t nearly as bad as the first.