To the Student Sleeping in My Class

I’m not going to lower the standard.  You will be expected to finish everything your classmates complete; with the same deadlines and with the same grading scale.  When they’re graded for collaborative work, you’ll be expected to work within your group and complete that material, too.  The culminating project at the end of the semester?  You will need to finish it on time with the same rubric as the standard for grading.  If you sleep through it, you’ll earn a zero.  You will be cut no slack in my classroom with respect to your grade.

However, please sleep.  You work three jobs to support your family?  Please sleep.  Nothing I’m going to say in class today is preparing you for the world you already live in.  Please sleep.  As important as I believe the study skills and material I teach are, please sleep.

I’d rather you experience these benefits in my class while sleeping:

  • REM sleep and one trip through the sleep cycle.
  • Recuperation and repair of brain tissue.  
  • Removal of free radicals and pruning of weak/unused connections.
  • Decreased risk of some psychological disorders.
  • Strengthening of neural connections.
  • Consolidation of memories.
  • Release of growth hormone, by the pituitary gland, for muscle development.
  • Decreased risk of heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes.
  • Improved immune system functioning.

Ultimately, the benefits listed above are so much more important to your well-being than knowing the differing theories of intelligence or the functions of the amygdala.  You live in a world that I never had to experience.  For whatever reasons, you’ve been made to grow up faster than most believe should  be so…but I’ve never heard you complain.    While I firmly believe that an education can improve the outcome of one’s life trajectory, it is more important today your developing, adolescent brain enjoy the profits from sleep.  

If you need to, please sleep.

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