On a daily basis teachers interact with a plethora of students and must adapt to the personality and habits of each class. When interacting with students in and out of the classroom, little annoyances are bound to arise.
In a Milestone survey, teachers expressed student behaviors they find bothersome, and the majority agreed that tablet use when unneeded, or use of tablets for nonacademic purposes is the leading pet peeve. Watching movies or YouTube, playing games, and being distracted while the teacher is talking are other issues teachers identified as being problematic.
“I try to be more entertaining than whatever is distracting them [on their tablets], failing to do so most of the time,” one teacher said. Other teachers also spoke of struggling to keep their students’ attention over whatever they have on their tablets. Often times, students’ activities on their tablets are even against school policy as tablets are intended for educational use only.
Another pet peeve of teachers is when students make snarky or unkind comments under their breath. Students may believe they are being discrete, but teachers overhear most of the comments students say. This leads to a disruption of the learning environment teachers try to create. “Few things get under my skin more in this environment than the casual digs and disses that aren’t necessarily malicious or vicious, but that just contribute to an environment that can be, at times, annoying or exhausting at best and toxic at worst,” another teacher said.
Teachers have also observed that there are times when students lack politeness. Some of the rudeness is inadvertently directed at teachers or other students. One teacher noted that students don’t mean to be rude or inconsiderate, but they tend to be absorbed in what they’re doing not what is going on around them. “The most vexing behavior [in my opinion] is students not being considerate of other students’ needs; for example, talking loudly when other students are tutoring or doing homework,” a faculty member said.
Teachers request that students be more mindful of how they act in the classroom. Certain behaviors can make learning difficult, contradict policy, or be irksome to teachers and others, which is why it is important to be mindful of said behaviors, even if they seemingly have no impact.