And then there are some little things that can get on your professor's nerves (big time):
- Once is an accident. Anything after that looks like laziness. No, your professor cannot identify who you are in class of 100 students based on your handwriting.
2. Never learning how to spell your professor's name.
- C'mon, it's been 2 months. You should know if it's "Smith" or "Smythe."
3. Arranging a meeting you don't show up for.
- Not only is this rude, you don't get points for intending to seek outside help. That's like expecting to be healed of an illness by merely scheduling a doctor's appointment.
- We believe students get sick, have relatives who are suddenly ill, and miss flights due to circumstances beyond their control. But don't leave it up to the professor to guess why you aren't there. Email ahead of time if possible with a valid excuse for missing class, or, if not possible, within the day.
5. Chowing down in class.
- Instructors know sometimes you have to eat on the go and most are fine with you bringing some snacks or a bagged lunch to class. What's irritating, however, is when someone draws out their meal, or practically lays out a table setting in front of them while ignoring what's going on in the classroom. Eat your lunch (preferably nothing too noisy or smelly), clean up, and stay focused on the class.
6. Disrespecting your professor or your classmates.
- Being flagrantly rude, unkind, or insubordinate to either your professor or a peer is sure to alienate you from the group. If you do lose your temper, be sure to apologize once you calm down. The same goes for group projects - don't play the blame game behind other students' backs to your professor. If there's a real problem, have everyone meet together.
- Sometimes there is a student who thinks every question, invitation to comment, or request for volunteers is directed at them. It's not. While important to participate, understand that other students need a chance to speak up too. Don't create a situation where everyone silently seethes every time you open your mouth.
8. Never talking.
- On the flip side, don't place the onus of the discussion or answering questions on your classmates. You're part of the group too, and need to contribute your fair share.
9. Asking individual-specific questions during class.
- When there are 3 minutes left in class, and your professor says, "Any questions about the test on Friday?" do NOT raise your hand and ask something along the lines of, "Yes, I have a dentist appointment at 1:45, and the test starts at 2pm. Is that going to be a problem if I'm a little late? Also, on the last test, I missed points on the essay. Why was that? Can you tell me how to fix that for the next test?" If you have a personal concern, email or meet with the professor separately instead of hijacking the entire classroom.
- Sure to elicit a face palm from your professor, don't bother excusing a missed class, poor exam, incomplete homework assignment, or being unprepared for class with "I didn't know." 99.9% of the time it was on the syllabus, announced in class, or both.