Picture this: you’re sitting in class and your professor is going over lecture notes. You feel your phone vibrating in your pocket, and suddenly your attention has shifted. You start texting your friends, checking Facebook and Twitter, and soon the entire class has gone by and you realize you haven’t learned a thing.
Does this sound familiar? Unfortunately, it’s a likely scenario for college students. While it may seem like common sense, there is a certain classroom etiquette that students should exhibit. Follow these guidelines and you will have great professor-student relationships in no time:
1) Dress the part: It’s important to show up for class looking presentable. If you come to class disheveled and wearing pajamas, it can send the impression that you don’t care about about the class, even if that is far from the truth. Leggings, yoga pants or sweatpants are just as comfortable as footie pajamas and give off a much better impression. Take the time to brush your hair and wear clean clothes to class: your professors and fellow classmates will thank you.
2) Pay attention: This step may also seem like a no-brainer, but in order to gain respect you first have to give it. Imagine giving a lecture to a room full of your peers, all of whom are either asleep or texting. Try to find something that captivates your attention in each of your classes, even general education ones. If all else fails, remember that you are paying to be there and each class is an investment toward your future.
3) Practice proper communication: When speaking to or emailing your professor, keep in mind that they are not your peer, no matter how casual their communication style is in class. Be formal, kind and make sure to specify who you are and your purpose of communication. Never email a professor after the grading period is about to end and beg for a higher grade, unless they made a grade recording error and it is warranted. Always remember to spell check your emails to ensure that you make a good impression.
4) Establish a connection: If you are struggling in a class, make sure sure to attend your professor’s office hours and point out specific issues that you need help on. However, don’t simply rely on your professor to bring your grade up. You need to put in effort and attend tutoring (consider the ASI tutoring program) while studying on your own time. It’s also important to remember that office hours are not simply time to gossip with your professor or catch up on the latest football game, but should be considered just as important as class time.
While going to class may seem like a chore sometimes (especially those dreaded 8 a.m. classes), it’s important to remember that each class serves a purpose. It is an investment for your future.