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Leaving Class Early: Yes Or No?

STAY THE WHOLE TIME

In college, there are times
when professors dismiss the
class ahead of schedule for various
reasons. The most common
excuse tends to be that the lecture
wraps up sooner than expected.
And while this scenario
is appropriate a select few times,
making it a weekly habit is not
okay.

Unless made free (which
most likely won’t happen anytime
soon), tuition will only continue
to rise. Paying over $1,000 per
class hurts wallets but can also be
the biggest motivator for achievement.
Students want to get their
money’s worth, so they are more
inclined to work harder and to
show up to class. The motivation
behind coming to the lecture is
what makes them stay—the desire
to get the most out of their
money.

Though sometimes students
face a moral dilemma toward
staying the full length of the
course (often they feel as though
the lesson is repetitive, or think
that they’ve learned everything
they need to from the lesson),
more often than not it’s the
professors who let students out
early week after week. This is
problematic because not only
are students not getting their
money’s worth, they’re getting
cheated out of a full education.

Teachers need to provide a
lesson that fills an entire block
of time. At the very least, that’s
what they signed up for—that’s
what they legally agreed to with
their syllabus, which acts as a
contract between the professor
and their pupils. More than
that, though, teachers exist in the
classroom to provide an environment
of learning—if interaction
and engagement didn’t matter,
the class would be held online
via Canvas. There needs to be
an understanding that on-campus
classes need to take advantage of
the designated time and space,
and not waste anyone’s time by
cutting it short.

When students pay money,
they tend to show up. Motivation
to stay is centered on learning
the material and honing in the
details. Classes are usually only
an hour and 15 minutes: stick it
out. It’s about professors teaching
and planning accordingly,
and about students staying put
the entire class period. Time is
of the essence.

-Dilkush Khan

IT SHOULD BE A CHOICE

Every teacher and student
has a few hours each week reserved
to be together in a particular
classroom at a specific
time. Since the student is there
for those few hours to learn, the
teacher should provide enough
material to teach for the entire
length of the class every time they
meet. However, people aren’t
perfect.

A teacher should plan
enough material to fill the entire
hour and 15 minutes of a
class period with enriching information,
and I’m sure most
do. Sometimes, however, class
gets cut short, and that is okay.

A teacher may plan for the
full one hour and 15 minute lesson
on a topic, but the particular
students in the class may already
be more familiar with the topic
than expected, so not as much
explanation or direction is needed.
In this case, if the teacher
has nothing else planned for the
class, students who are comfortable
with the topic shouldn’t
be forced to sit in a room and
stare at a wall. These students
should be free to go out in the
world and enjoy the remainder
of their day as much as possible.
This doesn’t mean that the
students who are not comfortable
with the subject should be
forced to leave either. It should
be an option, presented with an
alternative. The teacher could
simply dismiss class for those
who need no further instruction,
but open the rest of the period
to questions for the students
who have them.

The big picture for any
course a student takes is to start
with the prerequisite knowledge
to understand what they
are about to learn and, by the
end of the course, have learned
and mastered the coursework.
The teacher tries to plan the
units of learning to fill the entire
semester, and plan each class
meeting accordingly. This is
not an exact science. And if, on
occasion, the teacher doesn’t
time the lesson perfectly, the
students shouldn’t suffer.

Students pay tuition to enrich
their minds, not to be held
captive in a room for a specified
time period. The exchange
between teacher and student
should be an intellectual one and
not merely a business transaction
dictated by the clock on
the wall. If a student gets the
knowledge and feels enriched at
the end of a class, who cares if
the clock differs a little bit from
the time printed on a schedule?

-Tessa Blair

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