Classroom Etiquette

Items 1 through 8 below are from “What is Proper College Classroom Etiquette?”by Flora Brown []

“… While the connection between your classroom behavior and course grade may be not be clear, there are some behaviors that are clearly rude, unacceptable and in poor taste.

1. Addressing the teacher in a casual manner. "Hey Dude, what's up?" is okay for your friends, but not appropriate for your teacher. This even applies for teachers who dress and behave casually. Avoid personal comments or questions about their manner of dress or family. The teacher may be friendly, but is not your buddy. A teacher who is overly friendly is crossing the line himself or herself, and is luring you into another area of behavior that can be devastating for both of you.

2. Habitually arriving to class late. While some teachers are laxed about tardiness, it is disruptive to the lecture or other activities when all heads turn to watch your entrance. If your schedule just won't allow you to get to this class on time, drop it and take one that is convenient for you.

3. Habitually leaving class early. Don't schedule your job, other appointments nor activities during your class hour. Last semester a few of my students would come to class to take the quiz that I give at the beginning of class, then leave. Even though these students left quietly, they routinely missed the rest of the class which included the lecture and discussion of the concepts. This lack of clarity revealed itself in their test results.

4. Dominating classroom discussion, even to the point of interrupting the teacher with some point you want to make. Some students jump into classroom discussions so enthusiastically that they trample through the teacher's lecture interjecting comments, many of them less than insightful. This type of student not only upsets the teacher, but infuriates the other students.

5. Answering your cellular phone in class. Turn off your cellular phone and pager before entering class or else you may be asked to leave the class. This is definitely not cute nor impressive. If you are the principal player in multimillion dollar deals, why break your concentration by taking a college class right now?

6. Eating and drinking in class. Although some teachers of early morning classes may tolerate your cup of coffee, other teachers are not so generous. The possibility of spilling, not to mention the disruption it causes, has lead many colleges to post "No Eating" signs in classrooms, library and labs. And the reality that classroom carpets are cleaned infrequently may mean that you and your fellow classmates must endure the spots, stains and odors all semester.

7. Chatting during class discussion or while fellow students are giving oral reports. Your fellow students appreciate a quiet learning environment and resent students who continually disrupt the decorum. The one time in twelve years that I have evicted students from my class was when two young men were snickering at students as they gave oral reports. This behavior can land you in front of the Dean of Students and may lead to suspension.

8. Angrily confronting the teacher. Spend time understanding the course syllabus and requirements from the start to cut down on later misunderstanding. Some teachers are laxed about attendance, for example, while other teachers have zero tolerance for tardiness even to the point of locking the classroom door. Some teachers accept late and makeup assignments, while others don't. If you meet with the teacher as problems arise you will avert problems.

Attending college classes should be stimulating, informative and sometimes even fun, but only when the environment is conducive to learning. While teachers have varying levels of tolerance for various classroom behaviors, you can make your own college experience enjoyable by showing courtesy and respect toward your classmates and teachers alike.”

Other improper behaviors:

9. Improper use of laptops (for anything other than course materials)

10. Yawning, Sleeping (Snoring!), …

11. Other classroom disruptions (packing to leave 5 minutes before end of class, watching the clock repeatedly, leaving and re-entering classroom, …)

Other Etiquette Guidelines:

Turn off your cell phone before class (