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College Professor Relationships: Bad In-Class Behavior

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While at college, it is important to strive for healthy relationships, not only with your peers, but with your professors who hold within their grips the power of a grade.

Now, taking into consideration the vast number of professors you will encounter during your college career, the probability that some will be less than pleasant to work with, to appreciate, to be inspired by is great. However, do not let your dislike for some professors justify bad behavior, and also, be aware that professors, human like the rest of us, are just as easily capable of making preconceived notions and judgments about you.

Bad In-Class Behavior

Some bad behavior may seem more obvious than others, while other bad behaviors may be subconscious and unintended by the student, however no less offensive to the professor. It is best to mindful of your actions and presentation at all times while in class. Below are some examples of behavior that can be extremely offensive to the professor:

Making Excuses

Here is where “taking responsibility” is prime. Understandably, there will be occasions where assignments or exams are missed, but as soon as you gloss over your fault for neglecting your assignments by blame shifting, finger pointing, or concocting senseless and overused scenarios that prevent you from getting your work done, you lose credibility. Do not make excuses, and do not rely on an excuse. Professors won’t buy it, nor should they. Take responsibility for your mistakes and your role as a student by completing your assignments.

Causing Disruptions and Distractions

This is a fairly obvious offensive behavior; however, what can cause disruptions and distract the professor is not as evident to the student. Surely, late entrances and grandiose late entrances, in particular, are viewed as completely unacceptable to the professor who is entirely aware of those who are tardy and labels those students as such. Eating in class, a ringing cell phone, talking on your cell phone, private conversations with classmates, asking trivial or insignificant questions, digressing off of a topic, shuffling books and papers, making noise, unnecessary bathroom breaks, indecent dress are looked upon as obnoxious and puerile. Sit still, be quiet and attentive, be on time, and act like a polished professional.

Blatant Disregard and Disrespect

No one likes a creep. Do you enjoy being disrespected or disregarded? I would imagine not. Sleeping, texting, showing up intoxicated, complaining, a bad or passive attitude tells your professor that you don’t care about them; you don’t care about the content of his or her teachings; and you don’t care about your education.

NOTE: Remember that many professors will teach on their opinions and personal views that you may not agree with. Your professor should not steer your beliefs, but always be respectful.

Unjustifiable Ignorance, Indifference, and Laziness

Professors enjoy their job when the students they are teaching show receptiveness and effort. These students take the time to ask pertinent questions and seek guidance in areas they are struggling in. Though sometimes concepts may be difficult, professors acknowledge that their instruction may take some time to fathom within the process of learning. The student who does not take the time to understand concepts, who does not pay attention to instruction and as a result, asks inane questions causing the professor to be redundant shows himself as not the ideal student to the professor. Ignorance is a result of indifference and laziness.

I am of the persuasion that if you can do your best to please the professor by taking responsibility for your education and showing regard for what he or she is trying to teach you, you will gain a mutuality that will benefit your future college career.


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