Classroom Etiquette

Everyone recognizes that IB students are mature, personally responsible, industrious, and serious about school. (Well, at least they recognize that we are serious about school.) And being serious students, we understand the importance of rules.  You don’t have to agree with them, you just have to follow them.

Computers, iPads, etc.  For use only when I tell you, for a specific instructional purpose, like posting to the blog, research, accessing a specific literary work, using a relevant app, or keeping up with the NCAA tournament.  Otherwise, no. If we are working in a text, your laptop should be put away unless you are accessing the text electronically, and I have approved it. If I am teaching and you are staring vacantly at a video on your screen or laughing at some viral nonsense, expect a referral for disrespect. I much prefer that you use physical books for study so you can annotate and won’t be tempted to distraction.

Food.  You can eat snacks, as long as they are not gooey and can stain or stick to the desk.  If your snacking is distracting, or if your treats are subject to spillage or sudden dispersion, you will be instructed to eliminate the offending consumables, possibly in mid-chew.  Don’t play with your food.  Don’t haul out your lunch. Don’t leave your trash around the room like freshmen do, or the whole class will lose snack privileges.

Breaks.  You can go to the restroom only during small group discussions or independent seat work. You can’t leave the room during whole-class discussion or instruction. Preferably, you will take care of personal matters prior to coming in.

Nurse visits.  Do not ask to go to the nurse unless your hair is on fire, or blood is pouring from your eyes, or something equally unpleasant. “I need a cough drop” is not a reason to see the nurse.  If a bone is sticking out of your fashionably shredded jeans, fine. But otherwise, no. The nurse is not here to pat you on the head and give you a lollipop. Emergencies only, please.

Phones.  Mr. Nigro will completely freak out if he sees or hears a cell phone after telling you to put it away. There is really no reason to have one out in the classroom unless we are using it for learning. If you have your hand stuck in your purse or book bag and the tiny muscles in your forearm are twitching slightly, be prepared to lose the hand.

Music. I generally do not allow the use of earbuds during class, but there are exceptions. So if you have already lost one hand due to texting in class, and you use the other to scroll through your playlists, well, you’re going to have to come up with a good explanation to give your piano teacher.


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