Headphones in Class–It’s Rude!

Picture the following scenario: the school day is boiling down to ninth period. Everyone is tired and just wants the day to be over. A teacher is fighting off every sign of fatigue to get through the lesson, and her eyes stumble upon a student with AirPods in his ears. She asks the student to take out his earphones in a tone that indicates a combination of annoyance and understanding, but primarily annoyance. This is a struggle practically every teacher endures every day.

The life of an average high schooler is understandably challenging. From taking honors and AP classes to sports and extracurricular activities, it can be quite difficult to keep one’s head straight. Perhaps, that is why many students choose to escape reality and plug in their headphones; however, this is not okay!

Say an English teacher has three classes of thirty students; that is ninety students. When put into perspective, that means ninety essays, written-response tests, and independent reading projects to grade. This is a lot of work, and teachers at LHS actually teach five classes each day. Even so, we never see our teachers go astray and choose to plug in their headphones in the middle of class; they teach the lesson for that day as best as they can. 

Junior Mindy Leu shared her stance: “I don’t think it’s appropriate for a student to wear headphones while a lesson is being taught because it can demonstrate a sense of apathy and lack of respect to a teacher.” Freshman Naseer Gaffoor agreed and added, “Most teachers will not feel good about it because they are taking time to make a lesson and teach it to the students, but the student is not learning everything they need to know about the lesson.” It is worthy to note there is a common correlation between students who wear headphones in class and students who always ask questions about things the teacher explained nearly seconds ago. 

No matter how boring a class may seem, it is still the job of the student to respect the teacher. Respecting the teacher means giving full undivided attention and taking part in the class discussion. When one chooses to ignore what is being taught and plugs in his earphones, he is missing out on more than he might think he is: the teacher could have announced that there will be a mini quiz tomorrow, dropped a hint about something that will be on an upcoming test, shared an extra credit assignment to be completed in a brief amount of time, or explained an upcoming group project. The endless number of things one could have missed whilst his headphones were plugged in is staggering. 

Despite the number of students who intentionally plug in their headphones to ignore the teachers and show their disdain for that class, there is a small number of students who do it merely out of lethargy. Junior Yasmine Afzali expressed, “I think sometimes students just need a break. They don’t do it to be intentionally rude. Music gives a lot of kids a creative outlet.” This is true. As mentioned in the beginning, students have a lot going on. They may inadvertently plug in their headphones because they need a minute. This is still rude in some shape or form to the teacher, as her first impression would be that the student does not care to be in her class, which goes on to be a sign of disrespect. And, yes, studies do show music has a positive impact on individuals. Music has the ability to uplift a person’s spirits and improve his/her attitude. Perhaps that song will put that student in a better mood: a mood to potentially want to take part in the lesson? 

School is a rollercoaster of good days, bad days, excitements, and obstacles; students and staff members experience it all. Despite this, it is still never okay for students to disrespect their teachers. If students need a minute to collect themselves, it is best for them to communicate that with the teacher instead of defaulting to plugging in their headphones. When students and teachers can understand each other, the classroom environment becomes more enriching and enjoyable.