June 04, 2005

What to do with a sleeping student?

I love the recent article in the Education section of the Guardian about how to deal with a sleeping student:

Some students are having to work all hours to pay their way through university, which leaves them permanently exhausted. You need to be careful how you raise this, though. The handbook of university pastoral care gives no definitive guidelines on best practice here, but one thing some academics have tried is to shout out "Burger and fries" mid-lecture. If your student has got another job, he will wake with a guilty start.

I say leave the poor student alone. At least he turned up to the lecture!


At 4:51 am, Blogger teslagirl said...

I used to fall asleep in lectures all the time (and I still tend to doze off in seminars - it's very embarrassing!), so I don't give students a hard time about it. But I do wake them up.

At 12:09 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

back when I was a very young lecturer (and still gave lectures) I was in a lab giving a late Monday afternoon lecture (which was no doubt very boring). A student was sitting on the back row, on his own and I could see that he was having trouble keeping his eyes open. You know that feeling when your eyelids just won't stay up? He was fighting a losing battle, and I wanted to laugh. So I kept talking, and he kept trying to stay awake, but eventually he lost the battle. I still didn't laugh, although it was difficult not to. But then I noticed his elbow slipping towards the edge of the lab bench. His head was resting on his hand, and the hand was supported by the elbow....the inevitable happened, and his elbow slipped off the bench. He woke up with a jolt, and a look of utter bewilderment on his face. I couldn't help it: I burst out laughing, thus compounding his confusion and embarrassment ("it wasn't your lecture, it's just that I had to get up at 5am to get back to Uni for 9am").

I know, I'm not very dignified....


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