Classroom Behavior Tips

As discussed in previous posts, the way you come across in class can affect your grades- both negatively and positively. Below are some suggestions to improve your classroom behaviors:

  • Sit up front in class. This takes no extra commitment as far as time or energy, but it will associate you with the brighter students and you will be known to your teacher or professor. Sitting up front communicates you are eager to learn. Make eye contact with your instructor, nod at what they say to communicate understanding, and take notes.
  • Don't pack up until the instructor is done. Learn to ignore the bell when class is over. Generally there is plenty of time built into the daily schedule for you to get from one class to another, so don't get up an run out just because the bell rings. Stay until the instructor is done, then pack up and leave class. Packing up while the instructor is still talking is offensive and it might make your grade suffer. If everyone else packs up and you are the only one still sitting and taking notes the instructor will see you in a positive light and this may very well impact your final grade.
  • Take advantage of your teacher or professor's office time. Meet with every one of your professors and let them know who you are. Tell them you are interested in making an "A" in the class and you would like feedback on your progress. However if you do this you need to be sure you have been completing all assigned readings and papers or else you will come across as asking for something you have not rightfully earned.
  • Know that 75% of communication is non-verbal.  Think of a conversation you had last year.  I doubt you can remember very much of what was said, but I bet you can clearly remember the tone.  This illustrates the point that making eye contact, smiling, sitting up straight, paying attention, not interacting with to your classmates while in class and just looking like a good student can go a long way in your overall perception and ultimately how you are judged.
  • Ask questions in class and speak up when the teacher asks for input from the class.  It's frustrating for teachers and professors to ask a class for examples or input and for no one to speak up.  Show interest in the class and the teacher will show interest in you.

Consider the photo below.  From the viewpoint of the professor, where are the best students?  Where are the people that are most interested in the class?


Where will you choose to sit?  Click on the photo for a better view.

The time to decide how you will come across to your teachers or professors is now.  Make a list of changes you can easily make to improve your appearance as a student.  Where will you sit?  When are the professor's office hours, and when can you schedule a time to take advantage of their time?  Think of as many ways you can to improve how you come across in class and write up an action plan today!