By Gracie Riley
A teacher telling a sex joke in the middle of class is one way to make students pay attention. Professor Elizabeth Gardner recaptured her students’ focus one day when she accidentally did exactly that. It’s one instant of her teaching career that she vividly remembers.
“I am positive that I turned beet red,” she said. “Not one of my best moments.”
In a big lecture hall where attendance is not mandatory and the professor does not know you by name, many distractions entice students over the course of 50 minutes. However, chances are your professor notices when you accidentally drift to sleep or spend the entire class shopping on Amazon.
Avery Potts, a freshman government and politics major, recalled a story of a professor catching his student in the act.
“I was in Econ 200 with Professor Schwab, and he was telling our class about a colleague that was walking behind a student to see if what was on their laptop was appropriate for class,” she said. “It turns out that the student had been Facebook stalking him, the professor!”
Professor Erin Moody, who has been teaching at the University of Maryland full-time for 3 years, has experienced some unusual circumstances in her classes. She admits some are because of her students, and other times due to herself.
“Most of the silly things that happen in my class are the result of me, not the result of my students,” Moody said.
She recounted how last semester during one of the lectures following a big experiment, a class-wide karaoke session broke out.
“We got the big mic, and people were coming up on stage and singing karaoke, and we ended up on the D.C. and College Park Snapchat [stories],” she said. “It was a lot of fun.”
While Moody does her best to present course material in an exciting way, she has noticed one particular student who continuously nods off during class.
“I do have a student that is sleeping through my class this semester,” she said. “I continue to wake him, but he just keeps sleeping. Maybe he will read the article and realize that I do notice.”
Although it is easy to open up another tab on your laptop instead of taking notes, and closing your eyes for just a moment can be tempting — resist. Your professors notice more than you think.