The first week of school my students are made painfully aware of my three major pet peeves:
1. Putting your feet on the desk in front of you. Don't do it!!! It's annoying to the person in front of you, especially when you're tapping away at a song with a different beat than the one that's in their head. Additionally, you're eventually going to be scraping the mud off your shoes onto the books that are on the rack that you're using as a footrest. But the biggest reason: your parents taught you to keep your feet off the furniture.
2. Wadding up papers. Imagine that ideal scene where all students in a class are quiet and working intently (it happens, honest!!!), and then one person wads up a piece of paper and wants to play for the Sacramento Kings. If the noise from the paper didn't get everyone off task (one piece of paper is actually quite loud) then the celebration or dejection from the success or failure of the basket attempt will. Additionally, the one day a week I hand back papers, that's 160 students getting up to 4 papers each. My two little garbage cans won't hold that many wads, but they will hold that many smooth, pristine, flat pieces of paper. I insist that students gliiiiiiiiiiiiide their unwanted papers into the garbage can.
3. Confetti. Those little shreds of paper, the remainders after the paper is ripped out of a spiral binder, will inevitably end up on the floor or just left on the desk. Why our students have such a problem with picking up after themselves I do not know (actually I do, but I don't want to say it here), but the confetti drives me nuts.
I've let students know about those pet peeves each year I've taught. Now, for the first time, I'm ready to add another.
It seems common, at least at my school, for students to come in late to class with a note from another teacher asking them to be excused because they were finishing up a test or quiz. I have students who ask me if they can stay into the next period to finish. No! Do your English during English class, do your chemistry during chemistry class, and do your math during math class. To everything there is a season, or something like that. If you don't finish a test/quiz during class, and the teacher wants to allow you to finish, they should give you time during *their* class the next day, not unilaterally decide that the test or quiz they're giving is more important than what's going on in my class.
This wouldn't be a such a big deal for me if it were infrequent, but it's not infrequent. It's common. In fact, it's so common that I'm ready to tell students that I won't accept notes from other teachers because other teachers do not have the authority to excuse students from my class. When students ask me if they can stay after the bell rings, I tell them to go ask their next period teacher--and if it's ok, they can come back and finish. At least then the teacher knows the whereabouts of the student and can mark the attendance sheets accurately. But to me it's just a courtesy that I extend to my colleagues, allowing them to make the decision if a student can miss part of their class.
I feel much better for having gotten that off my chest :-)