Kids sleeping in class is not a new phenomena but it has become a bigger problem over the years as bedtimes went away and there were things to do other than reading late at night. When I was in elementary school, Al Gore hadn’t invented the internet yet, TV turned off at 11:00 PM, and the only thing on the radio was WHO AM, “The Voice of the Midwest and so bed time didnt seem so bad at 8:00 or 8:30.
I would guess that the average bed time for an elementary student is now around 9:30 and around 11 for a middle school students. Note the word average. I quite frequently had middle school students who got less than 4 hours of sleep on weekdays attempting to make it up during the day on weekends, of course after staying up all or nearly all night on Friday and Saturday . So sleep in class is a real possiblity even after a 5 shot expresso or a 20 oz Mountain Dew on the way to school.
My high school history teacher was a teacher whose incompetence was recognizable (when of course we didn’t have incompetent teachers back then) even to a not too motivated high school student. He was a kind and gentle man but had no business trying to teach anyone anything. I had class with this teacher immediately after lunch and there was always one student, I’ll call him Frank who was constantly falling asleep in class. Dear old Mr. Incompetent when he noticed Frank sleeping would always caution the class to be quieter and not wake Frank up because he must really need his sleep if he was sleeping during Mr. Incompetent’s movingly exciting history class.
In elementary school Bobby was a good kid but he didn’t get much sleep at home and he had a habit of always sleeping in my class. One day in frustration I slammed a book down on his desk inches from his head and he didn’t even twitch, blissfully unaware of the noise that had startled the whole class. I looked at the class and they looked at me and it worked, between all of us the noise of the laughter woke Bobby up.
I also made a real enemy over sleep. I beautiful and smart girl always was asleep in my 8th grade algebra class. Waking her up was almost more of a problem than it was worth as she always woke up mad. Not as mad as she was however when I quieted the class at the bell and had them all leave without waking her up. She sat there sleeping away during my planning period. In a truly viral video fashion she finally woke up looked around and saw that no one else was there closed her eyes and put her head back down on the desk. I assume thinking she was dreaming. She looked back up sat quietly for a while trying to figure out if she was really awake or not and then finally noticed me at my desk and asked me where the kids were. I told her I didn’t know because I was asleep when they left. She looked me up and down got her books, left and never spoke to me again or slept in my class again either. I saw her several years later at a 4th of July parade and when she saw me she crossed the street in the middle of the parade to avoid walking by me.
Such is the wrath of a teen-age girl who has been subjected to what would now probably be defined as demeaning and unacceptable student abuse.