A layperson’s guide to students’ classroom pet peeves  

September 14, 2023 — by William Norwood and Divya Vadlakonda
Graphic by Annie Liu
If we can hear teachers breathe, they are too close to us.
You may think you are alone in your classroom icks — but don’t worry, they are incredibly annoying to everyone.

Everyone has something that irks them in class — that one particularly annoying person always clicking their pen, that one grumpy teacher who is always yelling or that one rule that makes no sense. But for us, it’s more than just one thing — it’s a whole list. Therefore, we’ve taken the liberty of compiling a comprehensive guide on how not to give us the “ick.”

Odd due date times

Whenever something is due, we expect that to be 11:59 p.m. the day of, or one minute before the next class starts; not at 3:00 p.m., not at 8:00 a.m. and definitely not at 8:00 p.m. We do have hobbies outside of school, and that five point assignment due at 7:35 a.m. is not the first thing on our minds, to put it one way.

Temperature of the room 

There’s no better feeling than walking into a room with cold air flowing through the room in the middle of a hot summer day. However, we should not have that same experience in the depths of winter. A teacher should also never, in any case, have the heat on in the middle of summer. Do better. 

When teachers cold call

On the first day of class, many teachers have you write your name on a notecard with your period, grade and student ID. We always think, “maybe this will be the time a teacher uses them for seating and nothing more,” but our hopes are always crushed. Those cards become the source of our anxiety every day in every class. 

Teachers hovering around your table

In the middle of a test, we should never have a teacher looking over our shoulder at our answers. If they make a noise, then we think we did something wrong; if they don’t make a noise, we still think we did something wrong. So a PSA to teachers: Please don’t create fear by hovering.

When the table or desk setup changes too often

When we walk into class, the last thing we want to be thinking about is what permutation and combination the seats are this time around. However, for some classrooms, this is an unfortunate reality. Thus ensues the pandemonium of students shuffling and searching for a new seat near their friends for the next 10 minutes.

Sequestering phones at the beginning of class

The practice is reminiscent of a pebble in your shoe. Not quite a pet peeve, but a constant annoyance that makes itself known when you are stuck in your seat, painfully far from the phone caddy. It gives us separation anxiety.  For the sake of decreasing our blood pressure levels, we ask teachers to please take this list into account. And every time you experience one of these icks in a classroom setting, feel free to send them the link to this article as a (not so) subtle nudge.

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