Professors/Teachers, why no gum chewing in class?

Sorry, I didn’t mean to say that all education is a sales transaction. But you have to admit, some of it is. When I take a class whose subject matter I’m truly interested in and the professor is a good teacher, I call that education because I actually learn something. Then there are other classes whose subject matter I could care less about, and I’m only taking because it’s a requirement for my degree. Couple that with the possibility of the professor being crappy and bing, it’s a sales transaction since I’m A.) not learning anything and B.) essentially only paying for the class credit to show up on my transcript. Certainly you didn’t love every class you took in college, nor consider them all valuable educational experiences…

That seems like a very reasonable rule to me. Most of the professors I had in college had a similar policy. If you left while the test was taking place you didn’t automatically fail but you were finished taking the test. It’s weird that he’d tell you just before taking the test but even that isn’t a big deal to me.

Regarding going to the restroom during an exam, my only requirement was that a student request permission to go (i.e., don’t just go and return without letting me know) and only one person can go to the restroom at a time. Is there a chance to cheat? Not really, since all my tests were open-book anyway. Of course, I’d suggest that everyone take care of their nature calls before the test started to minimize such breaks during the test. I am, however, very strict about talking or any kind of communication during the test. As to gum chewing … shoot, students chew gum, eat food, and sip coffee during my lectures. I just tell them to not smack their lips!

Well, I don’t really feel that way, but I guess I’m weird. I am really passionate about education (if you couldn’t tell :rolleyes:) and never felt like I was wasting time in a class. If the teacher wasn’t good, I still read all the texts and sought out more reading so that I’d get something out of the class on my own. If I didn’t like the class, which happened rarely, I’d still try to get something out of it. I value education and learning so highly that it makes me crazy when it seems like it’s being diminished. To me, knowledge is the second most important thing in the word–the first is love.

I teach a college course and do not have any problem with students eating or drinking in my class. But when they have to give oral presentations, I will, as another poster said, take points off of their “presentation skills” grade.

No disrespect intended, but I believe some it it is a generation gap. I was born in 1982, and **Brandon’s **attitude is quite typical from my experiences in teaching. It was also quite common among my doctoral student colleagues as we were going through classes together. I’m a statistics student, and they are accounting, information systems, and marketing students. We were in some graduate-level statistics classes together, and many of them expressed the idea that they just “wanted to get it over with.” They were interested in their own fields, and wanted to learn just enough statistics to get by in their research.

The same attitude is also expressed in the advice many of us have gotten on our dissertations: Don’t try to save the world, just aim for a little contribution and get done. And until you get tenure, don’t rock the boat.

Someday, a Doper born in 1997 will say this exact same thing, and you will be able to tell them that it’s not a generation gap, but has been ever thus. :slight_smile:

Sincerely, E. (born 1967)

Yes, I agree with you 100%. I teach in a university and encounter the same kinds of comments. It is definitely a generational thing–one that I don’t think I’ll ever understand.

Oh well, on to ski jumping.*

[SIZE=“1”]*watching it, of course–not doing it.[/SIZE]

You were in middle school? High school? The rules are not meant just for you. Shitheads put their gum under tables and on the floor. Why should we allow you some fucking privilege that you think you deserve when anyone else could abuse it? As an adult, college student who has paid for your education, you’d think you could grasp that simple concept.

You may be the most awesome student evah11!!, but others are not and the rules are made for everyone, your payment notwithstanding.

Geez, if you’re paying for or have paid for an education, I’d ask for a fucking refund.

I’m going to have to disagree here. Education is a sales transaction, nothing more. If I want to learn something, I do it on my own – at my own pace, not having to worry about getting the right prerequisites and other problems with registration, and not dealing with guidelines or people. I’m getting my Master’s Degree to show potential employers, not because I wanted to learn something. (Please note: this is not directed to you personally or other educators, but more to the educational system in general).

On the other hand, I’ll jump through any hoops you want me to in order to get a passing grade. If that includes not chewing gum or not going to the bathroom, so be it.

It sounds to me like you’re not talking about education at all, but about credentials.

But the issue probably deserves a thread of its own, rather than hijacking this one.

I don’t care to wear clothes when I teach, but there you go.

When I teach little kids, I explicitly tell them no gum because they stick it everywhere when I’m not looking.

For adults, I let them eat/drink/whatever in class, but when they smack gum loudly enough to be distracting I tell them to spit it out. It’s just rude.

You will NOT enter the lab I’m teaching while chewing gum. You will not enter it with drinks or food or with anything you can smoke. I don’t care if it’s in a closed container, it’s not coming into the lab.

The reason is that if you’re stupid enough to drink the HCl or manage to kill yourself with contaminated cigs, I’m the one whose ass gets sued. You’re entitled to have faulty self-preservation, just keep it away from mine.

One English teacher in our community college had a “No Hats” rule, which drove me nutty, as a perpetual ball cap wearer. I followed the rule for a couple weeks, then promptly decided to say “Screw it” and wear it anyway. Got no trouble, as she knew by then that I wasn’t there to mess around…I just preferred to have head gear!

I never did get a decent answer out of her why she had that rule. Something about “hiding under it” or somesuch.

While I respect the need for rules, if I’m PAYING for the class, I want to be comfortable! I shouldn’t have to change my state of dress.

I teach, among other things, French at the local university. I do not allow gum chewing or eating during class, since I constantly ask the students questions, and having food in your mouth can mess up your pronunciation. Anyone who refuses is asked to leave, or would be, except that it’s never happened. Back in my math-teaching days, I didn’t care so much, except that anything they brought had to be fairly small and, most importantly, could not have an odor I could detect from the front of the classroom. I don’t know why, but I hate that.

Never overestimate the ability of the average undergraduate to ignore rules because he thinks the rules don’t apply to him, or underestimate their desire to test limits. Better to just ban all consumables and avoid the power struggles altogether. This wasn’t a perfect solution, btw. I still had to deal with undergraduates not following rules, including the classmate who had the cheek to eat her lunch in front of me, and when I called her on it, said that she should be an exception because she didn’t have time to eat between classes. I said, “Not my problem. Take the sandwich out to the hallway and I’ll talk to the professor.” (This was a mixed undergrad/grad course. When the class met in the lab, I had to do double duty. I got a lot of extra credit for that class. :))
The vast majority of my own professors didn’t care if you brought a drink in a covered cup and a small snack. They know that college students are busy and don’t always have time to eat before class. They just didn’t want students to come to class with a full meal because they didn’t want to deal with the smells and the greasy mess and the crinkly paper bag noise. Not a big deal, IMO, it’s their classroom and they should be able to do as they like.

As a teacher, I judge student comprehension by facial expressions: it’s how I know when I am losing people, and when people have it down and are ready for me to move on. Hats–especially baseball caps–make it hard to see someone’s expression, and it feels like you are teaching to a screen. For me, at least, it really does make my lecture less effective for everyone.

I was pretty much thinking this. (Although I never teach children.)

I don’t care if people chew gum. I do care if they POP it loudly in my class. It’s rude, immature, and distracting.

Considering that my early-morning classes are only 2 hours long each and there is a 10 minute break in the middle, there’s no reason why they can’t eat during that break or some other time. It’s also the crinkling of wrappers that’s irritating.

I have water or coffee myself, so I do allow drinks. But drinks are not nearly as noisy and smelly as food can be.