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We don’t need clocks in classrooms

Zak Porter / The Arbiter

Time is precious and it’s something we like to keep track of. In classrooms it is important for the professor to know what time it is so they can start and end class on time and track other timed activities.

So it is always a little funny when you hear the professor or other students comment on how there is no clock on the wall. After a while you may run into more than one classroom without a clock and suddenly you may notice a trend. The ever-important timepiece just isn’t in every room.

Shouldn’t we have clocks on the wall all the time?

As it turns out, there is a whole department at the university whose job includes keeping clocks on the walls.

Kevin Bennett, maintenance craftsman with Boise State’s Facilities Operations & Maintenance, sheds light on the

“All classrooms should have clocks, the students paid for them,” Bennett said.

So the easy answer to the question of whether or not each room should have a clock is yes. But this is 2012, and there is a twist to this deceptive question.

Most seem to be tolerant about the absence of clocks in their classroom because of smartphones. Why turn your head to look at the wall when you can just whip out your phone? There is also this nifty thing called a watch.

Good, old-fashion wall clocks may be antiquated with the onset of cellphones and classroom computers and have accurate time instantly available without needing to worry about it being off at all. The reality is we just don’t need wall clocks anymore.

Then again, considering how much students fork up just to attend college there really had better be clocks in every

Clocks are paid for just the same as the desks we sit on. Just because we typically have another means of telling time without a clock pasted to the wall doesn’t mean it’s not still supposed to be there.

Bennett added, “If you find a classroom without a clock you should let us know.”

There are arguments against clocks in classrooms. Ian Clayton is a linguistics professor, and one of his classes is Linguistics 305—hosted in Business Building room 204, which ironically lacks a clock—is a required class for many students. Clayton starts and stops his class impeccably on time every day without anything on the wall.

“My view is that the only person in the room who needs to know the time is the instructor, thus, any clock should be prominently positioned in the middle of the back wall where I can see it, but it won’t distract students. I can use the clock on the classroom computer when I have to, but that’s inconvenient when I’m using a .pdf slide that fills the whole computer screen,” Clayton said.

However, not all instructors are as practiced as Clayton.

“As far as spacing my material, I’ve been discussing points X, Y and Z for many years, and have a pretty good sense by now of how long I need to cover that material,” Clayton added.

Obviously, there are reasons why someone may have to leave class early, but in this day and age the odds are they already have their own way of telling time.

So really, clocks in classrooms are mostly a convenience since there is so much technology making it easy to just glance down at your phone or look at your wrist. But being a public university, clocks in your classroom are paid for and are supposed to be there even if you’re not using it.

To get a clock in your classroom, just contact Boise State Facilities Operations & Maintenance.

About Zachary Chastaine (0 Articles)
Zachary studies English technical writing at Boise State and previously wrote for the Portland State Vanguard. An enthusiast of downhill mountain biking, craft beers and automotive racing Zach hopes to continue his writing studies overseas at Oxford Brookes.

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