Why Is My Prof Annoyed With Me? Expectations for Classroom Presence
– Many students enter college rather unaware of what is considered acceptable behavior in the classroom. We often judge how we might present ourselves in the classroom based on our high school experiences. However, college is a very different environment than high school, and we need to learn how to conduct ourselves as college students. If you aren’t sure what is expected, don’t hesitate to ask instructors so that you will be very clear. Here are some guidelines that can help you present yourself well as a college student. These skills also work to develop your professionalism for future jobs, promotions, and career competition.
* Read the syllabus. This is your guide to the class, and it contains the answers to many of your questions through the semester. Keep your eye on the syllabus frequently, and don’t forget to reference it when you plan your work and schedule.
* Come to class prepared. Think about what you need to do before class, what you need to bring, and what you might be doing during class. Always plan to take notes and have necessary course materials with you.
* Get to class before the start time. Allow yourself enough time to arrive before class begins, get your course materials out, and be ready to go when class starts. Arriving at the time class begins is not early enough. You should be seated and ready to begin by that time. On time is 5-10 minutes early.
* Be attentive in class. Pay attention to the instructor, even if you are struggling to stay interested. Show respect to the learning environment, other students, and the professor by sitting up, facing forward, and focusing on the instruction. Don’t slouch or lay your head on the desk. And definitely don’t fall asleep! Of course, don’t chat, pass notes, or participate in disruptive behavior in any college classroom.
* Network with other students. Introduce yourself with others in each class and find a few people to exchange some kind of contact information. If you must miss class, contact these students right away and request notes, announcements, and other information from them. Don’t put the burden of updating you on the instructor. Take the responsibility for this on yourself, and get information from more than one student in case they missed something. Collaborate with other students to study, discuss readings, and improve your class experience.
* Communicate with your professor. If you must miss class, find out how the instructor would like you to communicate about that. Email and speak to the professor in a professional way. Don’t use text or twitter speak in emails or online posts unless your instructor has specifically told you that is acceptable. Check emails for college-level grammar, punctuation, and capitalization before submitting. Never speak disrespectfully, yell, or insult an instructor. Keep your cool, even if offended. If there is a problem, follow up when you aren’t angry or frustrated.
— Check out these great resources on dealing with your professors:
Approaching College Professors
Email Etiquette for Students