The Mysteries of Gravity – Falling off a chair and other mysterious class disruptions

I had a student fall off a chair in class the other day. To be fair, it was a computer chair with wheels and the floor is brand new high grade linoleum. On top of that, the lecture was insanely energizing causing excessive body movement along the lines of a religious revival. Needless to say, we all shared a special moment as the student rolled aimlessly across the floor.

Handling classroom disruptions on a college level is always a bit of challenge because you can’t yell like a burnt out kindergarten teacher. We’re all adults and everyone knows that in a room full people it takes a group effort to maintain a sense of decorum. Yet, mysteriously something goes awry. How about a bird flapping into the class, a swarm of angry bees, a squirrel caught in the ceiling duct, a power outage, a fist fight or just the generic student who has had a really bad day and loses control.

What goes on in my head when faced with the happenings above, all of which have actually occurred in my classroom? My first thought is safety – my own which is why I typically run for the door.  Not true – My first action is to make sure everyone is safe and calm. Next, I’m immediately looking for the 3 or 4 students who have already shown leadership skills and I’ll typically ask them to help. If the distraction can easily be resolved, my next step is to get the class back on track. Unfortunately, that is almost impossible especially after outrunning the angry bee swarm.

So what happened with the student who fell off the chair? I didn’t follow any of the steps above.  We all kind of laughed. I don’t even think anyone helped him up. It was Friday –we were all tired.

If you’ve had a class disruption, please share!





  • KLilley

    No one likes to be disrupted especially if your truly trying to pay attention in class, or even really enjoying the subject of the matter. Of course when you’re sitting in a boring monotone class, as a student, you’re always waiting for something sparking to happen in the class because you do what some excitement in the class being that it’s sometimes hard to pay attention in class. Some disruptions like the one in the blog can be funny as long as no one gets hurt, others like a student making unnecessary noises through the whole class can sometimes get tiring and obviously annoying. There’s always a class clown, and always that one person that is the instigator that loves to boost them. These two characters are like batman and robin, always together for whatever reason and always in trouble together and need to find a master plan to get out of it. I had these two boys in my Italian class that loved to be “the batman and robin”. Every day in class it was something that seemed to be hilarious to them, but it really wasn’t! Especially when you’ve paid your money that you worked hard for. In class people need to understand that you’re here to learn not to joke around. I feel as now we are adults, it’s time to grow up people! If they weren’t serious about the class they should’ve never signed up for it. I just get so irate when people don’t understand every minute you disrupt of my class time is money that should’ve been in my pocket. I even see myself getting annoyed when professors disrupt class or go off topic with the subject when going over something important because we have an exam coming up. I don’t mean to be a snood, but time is money and money is time, and going to college is both and life is just too short to be wasting it all.

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