Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Makes Me Wonder

All during my college and grad school years, I can't remember a single instructor leaving the room to go to the restroom.

I can't remember ever doing it myself.  (Not as a student nor as an instructor at whatever level.)

That's not to say it couldn't happen, or that there's anything wrong if it does, because sometimes you gotta go.

But it seems that we instructors plan ahead when we can.

So why is it that so many students seem to need to go?  I mean, I probably average 1-2 students a week who leave class to use the restroom.  Is it just the odds?  Or the occasional poor planning?

8 comments:

  1. Boredom. Or maybe they want to make a call?

    I honestly think for the younger ones, it's because they can. They're fresh out of high school, where their every move was policed. The freedom goes to their heads for a bit, maybe?

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  2. For me, it's partly a matter of how focused I am. I can feel I need to go before class, get interrupted, and go through class without feeling the need again (though I'll certainly visit the bathroom as soon as possible afterward, and will take a quick break during class if I'm able -- e.g. if students are doing some group work or an in-class writing that doesn't require supervision). Students' minds are probably more prone to wander, simply because they're not responsible for making the whole class work (as much as we try to make them responsible for, and focused on, their own learning). In most cases, I don't really mind if they slip out and back in quickly, but that may be partly a result of the kinds of classes that I teach (activity/workshop-focused comp courses). We'll see how I feel in a larger, more discussion-focused lit class this semester.

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  3. Two words: cell phones. They can't live without them long enough to sit through a whole class.

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  4. I think there are a couple other factors in my classes: I often have students come into class a minute before it starts (clearly rushing from their last class). They have to get all the way across campus, so they don't have the time to stop and go to the bathroom between classes. However, as a teacher, I'm usually teaching in the same building (or buildings close to each other) which gives me a minute or two more to use the bathroom before class if I need to.

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  5. I have a fantasy in my mind that every time a student leaves to go to the bathroom, they are about to have explosive diarrhea and they'd rather do it at a time when it's less likely that they'll have company in the bathroom stalls. I don't know that it's true, but I think people would rather not have company in the public restrooms in those moments.

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  6. Depending on the time of day and how far apart classrooms buildings are, some students with back-to-back classes might not have time to stop in between, or might find that the queues are too long.

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  7. I actually have had to leave a class as a professor to scuttle to the bathroom. And I'm always horribly embarrassed. Too much coffee usually.

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  8. I have... but generally when they're doing an in-class exercise or something. More often I go to get more water.

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