by Brian Szymanski
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Teachers will likely be more vindicated than surprised by the statistic that over 20 percent of students sleep in class. When the lecture starts or the lights go off for an educational movie, one in five students? heads will hit the desk for a ten-minute nap.

Because sleeping in class is an issue that has been forever prevalent, teachers must institute methods to discourage students from sleeping during lessons. Several unique means of keeping students awake in class have been implemented throughout the years by teachers.

?The basic idea is that students who sleep in class cannot stay in that mode,? social studies teacher Wanlace Yates said. ?There are physical factors that affect awareness, and activity helps students get out of their mental fog.?

In past years, Yates has had students do pushups in class to make them more alert; however, he has begun to ?stray away from that policy,? he said.

Other ways to wake students up have been used by teachers, including having the class stare at the person until they wake up, taking their desk away from them, making them stand and, at times, even singing to them.

?I?ll wake them up and make fun of them in front of the whole class,? English teacher Pierce Bello said. ?That usually wakes them up.?

However, while some teachers understand that sleeping in class is not allowed, they feel that there is simply nothing they can do to wake students up.

?When I?m lecturing and giving important information, I really cannot stop and wake these students up,? Spanish teacher Carlota Shewchuk said. ?The students who are awake and want to learn will get my attention.?

While she might not wake up the students herself, she feels that there are other means for students to stay awake during lessons.

?I strongly advise the buddy system so students can wake each other up if they are napping in class,? Shewchuk said.

Also, she feels that if students learn to manage their sleep schedule efficiently they will be more productive in class.

There are teachers who believe that students who are exhausted enough to fall asleep in class may benefit more from the few minutes of sleep than from listening to them lecture, as it may revive and refresh them.

Bello is not among those teachers. The only word he found necessary to counter that argument is ?ridiculous.?