Can You Leave If The Teacher Is 15 Minutes Late?

Teachers are the pivot of any educational institute and their actions and way of life have a significant impact on the students’ lives. For a teacher to pass behavior to a student, he/she has to have that behavior whether it is positive or negative. “You cannot give what you don’t have”. Therefore, for a teacher to inculcate discipline, determination, punctuality, and focus in students, the teacher must possess all these traits. Let us know ‘Can You Leave If The Teacher Is 15 Minutes Late?’.

Can You Leave If The Teacher Is 15 Minutes Late?

Teachers’ punctuality in the classroom is an important aspect that contributes to the academic success of students, and also teaches the students how to be disciplined in their endeavors and academic pursuit.

Can You Leave If The Teacher Is 15 Minutes Late?

The 15 minutes rule has to be applied rationally and logically, therefore, you may not have to leave if your teacher Is 15 minutes late to the classroom. Students should understand that their teachers are human and they are prone to be late especially if it is on rare occasions. The class representative may call the teacher to ask for further information about what to do to keep themselves busy or to know if another teacher will engage the students if the teacher will not be able to attend class.

The 15 minutes rule

The 15 minutes rule is a policy adopted by several colleges in the United States that days that the students are permitted to leave the classroom once the professor is 15 minutes late. 

However, this rule is only applicable to higher institutions and not to high school and primary school and this is because they are not privileged to leave the school premises. But if a teacher is late to the classroom, the matter might be reported to the vice principal of academics or the head of the department, so another teacher can stand in for the teacher

The rule stands in higher institutions, therefore, as an aspirant, you may want to be curious if this rule is applicable in your desired school. It is important to always read the handbook of any institution if such rules apply. 

Lecturer late to class in the US

Several institutions in the United States have policies that guide the  delinquency of professors. This is to enable professors to be conscious of the fact they are role models and students look up to them and enable them to stick to the code of conduct. 

If a lecturer exhibits the habit of coming late to school, then, the lecturer is violating the rule that guides the school, and once He/she becomes a perpetual latecomer to class, he might have to face the consequences.

A responsible lecturer should inform the students ahead of time about lateness to class or cancellation of class. Despite this, the lecturer has to organize a make-up class so that he will not be behind the scheme of work 

According to research, about 70% of colleges In the United State apply the 15 minutes rule. 

Causes of a lecturer being late to class

There are so many reasons why a lecturer can be late and some of the reasons include:-

  • Ineffective planning
  • Traffic
  • Procrastination
  • Lack of motivation 
  • Indiscipline 
  • A lackadaisical approach to work 
Ineffective planning

There is a saying, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Ineffective planning may cause clumsiness and when a teacher is clumsy, it will be difficult to dodge lateness to class. Planning your day, the dress you will wear, ironing the dress ahead, and polishing your shoe prevent you from lateness to school


Traffic is another reason, in a congested city, there are possibilities that lecturers might get to school late. Such incidence is normal especially when it is occasional


Procrastination is a thief of time, when you procrastinate, you tend to do things late. You will save a lot of time when you do things on time and act on time.

Lack of motivation 

Motivation might be in form of allowances and remuneration, when a professor lacks motivation, it will reflect on the output.


Indiscipline does not only affect the lecturer, it will also take a toll on the student. The lack of discipline of the lecturer will reflect on his approach to work.

A lackadaisical approach to work

When a lecturer has a lackadaisical approach to work, he/she will be careless in handling academic affairs.

What to do if the lecturer is late to the classroom?

If your professor is kate the class, and it is 15 minutes passed the normal time, there are better ways to handle the situation than leaving the classroom, some of these ways include:-

  • Exercise patience.
  • Consider your class schedule
  • The class representative should out a call to the lecturer

Exercise patience

You might want to exercise patience when dealing with your lecturer and check his track record of punctuality in the classroom. If a lecturer who is always punctual to class is late, then you should know that it’s unusual and there has to be a concrete reason for his tardiness. On the other hand, a lecturer who is a perpetual late-comer will imbibe that spirit in the students.

Consider your class schedule

Consider your class schedule, don’t try to wrap your head around the fact that your lecturer is late, take your mind off the tardiness and fix your mind on the task ahead. If you are having a quiz after that class, you should focus on preparing for the quiz.

The class representative should out a call to the lecturer

If you have a class representative, then he should put a call through to source the latest information and disseminate it to the other members of the class.

Can you leave the class if the lecturer is 15 minutes late or more?

When applying the 15 minutes rule, you must be logical and rational. The rule is that you should leave the class after 15 minutes without offense. However, students should hold back and wait a little while until the lecturer informs the students of the cancellation of the class. 

Extend the minutes to twenty to thirty minutes, then if the lecturer does not show up you can take your leave, it is not advisable that students leave the class immediately the 15 minutes elapse, there might be some valid reasons for his lateness and you have to give him reasons especially if it is unusual.

You can enquire from other teachers in the department and ask for their advice. Also, the class representative can contact the lecturer to know if the lecturer is coming or not. If he is coming, he will let you know and if he is not coming, he will try to reschedule the class to make up the class he has missed.

Why you should not leave the class when the lecturer is 15 minutes late? 

There are so many reasons why a lecturer can be for t class. If my teacher or lecturer is out on official duty, then, there are chances of him coming late to the class. For instance, there might be a big event coming up in school that day, so your class representative should call him to know if he can still make it to class. 

In addition, the habit of a professor could trigger you to leave the class or not. If your lecturer is always coming late, you might want to wait a little while or send a statement through the class representative to the department about his unbecoming behavior.

Moreover, you can leave the class if there is nothing left to do that day. You can decide to go to the library to source materials, visit a friend or you can use that period to seek medical attention if you are not feeling too well.

Things you can do when the lecturer is 15 minutes late?

  • Engage yourself in activities like quizzes, classwork, and assignment
  • Go to the library once you are sure the lecturer is no longer coming 
  • Discuss with your friends about topics you don’t understand


In conclusion, if your teacher is 15 minutes late to the classroom, make an excuse for him/her in mind and wait a little while, don’t leave the class immediately after the time elapses, the class representative must call the lecturer to know if the class will hold or not, if the class is not going to hold, the lecturer will schedule a makeup class to cover up for the lost period.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q1. What should I do when a teacher is 15 minutes late to the class?

  • Exercise patience.
  • Consider your class schedule
  • The class representative should out a call to the lecturer

Q2. What are the possible reasons why a lecturer is late to class?

Ineffective planning, Traffic, Procrastination, Lack of motivation, Indiscipline, and Lackadaisical approach to work.

Q3. Can I leave the class if the lecturer is 15 minutes late?

students should hold back and wait a little while until the lecturer informs the students of the cancellation of the class.