To some students, chewing gum can help ease classroom tension. Yet, to some teachers, chewing gum in class can reflect bad manners.
For decades, schools have banned chewing gums for different reasons, and many teachers are on board with this rule. But why do teachers hate gum? Keep on reading to find out!
Why Do Teachers Hate Gum?
1. Chewing Can Be Disrespectful
Probably the main reason teachers don’t like gum in the classroom is that excessive chewing often shows carelessness and can be considered rude.
Ever monitored the facial expression of someone chewing gum? This behavior can send mixed signals to the teacher.
Either the gum chewers are uninterested in whatever the teacher has to say and trying to find a distraction, or they’re chewing gum to focus better.
This type of paradox can make the teachers read too much into the situation, which is the last thing they should worry about in the classroom.
2. Gum Is A Distraction
Imagine while trying to explain a complex lesson; all you see are students’ inner mouths and large gum chunks. It’ll be hard to focus, right?
On top of the not-so-pleasant inner mouth sight, chewing gum can be pretty annoying.
Loud chewing, gum-smacking sound, bubble popping, and other gum noises won’t only disturb the teacher; but also other students.
Not to mention the potent smell of some gum flavors. Sure, nothing wrong with wanting to smell minty fresh after lunch, but some may not like strong peppermint and cinnamon aromas.
All the above reasons can easily distract a teacher and—as Willy Wonka would have described it—is really gross!
3. Makes Enunciation Harder
It’s true that chewing gum can help reduce stress and anxiety, but that’s not the only health benefit.
Chewing gum increases saliva production, which improves overall oral health. Sounds great?
Well, not during public speaking. Increased saliva, along with chewing, can make speech considerably unclear, and as mentioned earlier, it’s unappetizing to the sight.
So, it doesn’t matter if a student prepared an outstanding presentation when no one can understand what they’re saying.
Instead of asking students to spit their gum before presenting, it’s easier to just ban the whole thing altogether.
What’s more, if someone isn’t paying attention while talking and chewing, the situation can get bad very quickly. After all, gum can be a choking hazard that’ll scare any teacher.
4. Gum Can Be Destructive
We’ve all been in a situation where we sit innocently on a chair only to walk away with chewed gum on our clothes, which is difficult to remove.
What’s even more challenging is trying to remove gum stains from carpeted floors, especially those dirty, gray smears that have been sitting on the carpet for a while.
Aside from finding chewed gums under classroom desks or chairs, some students wrap chewed gums on water fountains.
Not only is that disgusting, but chewed gum may also transfer diseases.
5. Opens Room For Side-talks
Excessive talking is one problem that probably every teacher encounters and certainly hates.
Students can get creative in finding reasons to talk during class, but one thing that can disrupt the peace within minutes is someone sharing gum.
Offering gum doesn’t just stop at one person. Since gum is popular among students, soon, other classmates will start asking for and sharing gum.
This can definitely anger many teachers because not only is the entire classroom chewing indefinitely, but they’re also calling each other in search of gum.
6. Leaves Students Asking For More
Sure, some school rules might seem pointless to students, like no bathroom breaks allowed or students having assigned seats.
However, the above rules can be understandable, as some students use bathroom breaks to escape a boring class or choose seats that other students actually need and they don’t.
So, what about chewing gum?
If a student chews with a closed mouth, makes no noises, doesn’t share gum, and wraps the gum with paper before throwing it away, teachers should stop hating gum and allow it, right?
A major problem with breaking simple rules like gum chewing is that letting simple rules slide will make students demand more.
If students can chew gum, why can’t they eat or drink in class? So, it’s best for teachers to stick to the rules to avoid wasting time on other class rules discussions.
7. Sets A Negative Path
Since students spend a lot of time at school, it’s safe to say teachers can impact students even after graduation.
If a teacher doesn’t address gum chewing manners at school, a student may think it’s appropriate to have interviews with gum in their mouth or to chew loudly at work.
Even worse, the bad habit of sticking gum under the desk can grow with them. While that won’t send them to the principal’s office, their boss will have something to say about that sticky issue.
So, why do teachers hate gum? Teachers hate gum because improper chewing can be gross and even annoying for many people.
Combine that with how gum destroys different school property, and the result gives teachers solid reasons to hate gum and ban chewing in the classroom.