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Professors must control their classrooms

Cody Finney / The Arbiter

There always seems to be that one student who dominates every conversation and takes it upon themselves to answer every question the professor poses, often asking the class their own questions. Some professors let it happen, even though they are being compensated by students’ high cost tuition to dispense their knowledge on the subject.

Professors should put a stop to particularly dominating students before their rant takes over the entire class session, but often times they let it happen for far too long.

Christian Winn, a professor in the English department, has dealt with this type of student many times before.

“I’ve had to ban people from talking in class. I’ve had to tell a student to keep quiet for twenty minutes, like a time out kind of thing,” Winn said.

But Winn said stopping the behavior early is vital. “Personally, I am not an interrupting, confrontational person, but I do take the reigns quickly,” he said. “It’s the dance you have to do as a professor, establishing that balance.”

State need to take notes from colleagues like Winn who demonstrate how to effectively avoid students taking control of the class.

Frustration due to a lack of leadership in the classroom can boil over, causing students to tune out of the conversation and develop a distaste for the class.

Junior Makenzi Burks, an English Education major, believes professors should get to know their students and get other people involved.

This way, it gives every student a chance to participate in the conversation and not feel as if they are interrupting a one-sided conversation.

Students feel more comfortable when their professors know their name and encourage them to join the discussion with their input.

How can professors take back their classroom after it has been hijacked?

Do they have the authority?

There is an article in the University Code of Conduct that protects the rest of the students in the classroom from the notorious Chatty Kathy controlling the lecture, but often it doesn’t feel as if it is being adhered to.

Article 4 section 4 states “any behavior that causes a substantial disruption to the living or learning environment of the campus” is in violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

Although a student who just wants to talk and talk during class is surely not necessarily in need of a code of conduct violation being handed to them, it does illustrate the classroom is everyone’s place to learn and professors do have the control.

So, no matter how professors get it done, they need to put a hard stop to perpetually disruptive or dominating students at the beginning of the semester, before she has the chance to start her own version of the class.

Take that Chatty Kathy!