The College Classroom

I’ve mostly avoided writing about my adjunct instructor job, because it is a great job, with very little drama. In books and on the screen, I like drama, but in my own life, I prefer peace and a decent measure of quiet. Only a couple of times have I had a “drama” situation with a college student, but it isn’t pleasant. In college, presumably the student has choices: which major(s) to seek, which class(es) to take, and even which instructor is going to teach the class. With all of those choices, plus the fact that college is a voluntary activity, there are almost no discipline problems. That is wonderful! When folks ask why I left high school teaching for a part time college job, I just shake my head, because the only thing that is better in high school is the pay check. And, for me, it wasn’t worth it.

But, sometimes, even in college, a student does create a bit of havoc. First, it is uncomfortable, because the other students are not amused, because they have made their aforementioned choices, and the disruptive influence is messing up their own learning experience. Secondly, if the matter is not handled swiftly, the disruptive influence begins to change the atmosphere of the class, as the instructor strives to keep the ship moving on the right course. And that is why, most of the time, the instructor says, “Get out” to the disruptive student.

Recently, a UGA football player, was dismissed from the team. Although the coach’s statement did not specifically refer to it, the media has apparently affirmed that the student did indeed cause a classroom disruption. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the incident occurred in the early afternoon and by evening, the player was free to pursue new opportunities. Some of those “commenters” on the newspaper website basically said the UGA coach should lose the “holier than thou” attitude and cover up such incidents, in order to make his team more competitive. But, having been on the instructor side, I am cheering for the UGA coach.

After all, college is a privilege, and the disruptive student can make some more choices and learn from the situation. And, as the UGA coach said in his statement, that makes opportunities for good guys to get playing time.