College Professors Appreciate Good Behavior

Your college campus learning experience typically centers on the classroom, where professors and teaching staff dispense knowledge, instruction, study advice, tests and assignments, appraisals (in the form of grades), and oftentimes, something very personal . . . patience.

Student behavior, particularly in a classroom setting, can have far-reaching effects on an individual's assessed performance — and on the collective body of students stuck in the same place with a joker, a jerk, or a just-plain-lazy classmate. Staying on the good side of faculty — and fellow students — doesn't require a complicated rulebook, just a little common sense and self control.

Here are a few behaviors that will drive your professors crazy . . . and other students to distraction:

  • Showing up for class late regularly or even once in a while, especially if you look (or smell) like you've shunned the shower.

  • Letting your cell phone make any audible sounds, including vibrating on the tabletop.

  • Sending or receiving text messages, other than for emergencies.

  • Trying to finish up reading assignments during class, rather than before.

  • Using the classroom as a dining hall, particularly if your food of choice is something crunchy.

  • Jabbering to someone else in class about personal stuff.

  • Closing up shop by frantically stuffing your papers, books, study materials, pencils, pens, or laptop back into your book bag before class is over.

  • Taking a nap in class. (Few people can disguise a sleep break successfully; if nothing else, a head bob or solo snore will announce your snooze.)

  • Asking idiotic questions or trying to discredit the professor's perspective or position.

Teaching staff expect respect beyond the classroom, too. If you want to stay in the good graces of your professors and faculty, avoid making these blunders:

  • Quizzing your professor about the value of the assignments he or she parcels out.

  • Staying perpetually confused about when assignments are due.

  • Making appointments to visit your instructor's office, and casually forgetting to show up.

  • Suggesting that your grade is worth bumping up, because everybody knows you're a good student.

  • Preparing your research papers and assignments in any way that deviates from the professor's preferred method. Add further insult by taking pride in your "creativity" and suggesting that your professor be more flexible.

  • Expecting any member of the teaching staff to believe your incredible excuse about why you can't complete an assignment, attend class, or figure out what's going on in general without reminders.