After decades of teaching experience, I have devised a list of Dos and Don'ts of behavior in the classroom . . .

 

CLASSROOM ETIQUETTE
 

BEFORE YOU EVEN COME TO CLASS . . .

 

DO NOT CALL ME "MR." HARDIN

(This is not high school.  I have a Ph.D. and I am a tenured Associate Professor with 25 years of teaching experience, 17 of those at Longwood; showing minimal respect means addressing me as "Doctor" or "Professor" Hardin)

 

ASSOCIATE PROFESSORS GET 15 MINUTES

(Contrary to what you may have been told, you should wait 15 minutes before leaving if I have not arrived for class)

 

READ THE SYLLABUS

(The syllabus now equals four pages of single-spaced 10 point text with important information relative to your success in this class; it is your responsibility to know what it contains)

 

RELIEVE YOURSELF
(Barring real emergencies, you should not be getting up in the middle of class for a potty break; this is not high school where you can afford to miss a lecture and pick it up again a week later)

 

TURN YOUR @#$%! CELL PHONE RINGER OFF
(I will keep mine on in case there is an emergency announcement from Longwood)
 

APPEARING IN COURT OR SPENDING TIME IN JAIL FOR SOMETHING YOU HAVE DONE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN EXCUSED ABSENCE
(I hate to be preachy, but bad choices have consequences)

 

 

NO NOs . . .

 

ASSUMING THAT PERFUME/COLOGNE IS A SUBSTITUTE FOR BATHING
(If I can smell you, you've got WAY too much on)

 

DOING HOMEWORK FOR ANOTHER CLASS DURING THE LECTURES
(The word is spelled I-N-S-U-L-T-I-N-G)

 

WORKING ON YOUR SOCIAL CALENDAR DURING LECTURES
(All play and no work makes Jack/Jill a dullard)

 

ASKING, "DO WE NEED TO KNOW THIS FOR THE EXAM?"
(Sorry, you have to know everything!)

 

ACTING LIKE YOU HAVE SOMEWHERE BETTER TO BE
(Simply put, this is the best place to be for the next 50-75 minutes)

 

PICKING NOSES, SCABS, OR ACNE AND CHEWING FINGERS
(Aside from being gross, they're usually done with the writing hand)

 

PLAYING WITH PIERCINGS (TONGUE, NAVEL, ETC.)
(See above)

 

MAKING ANNOYING NOISES DURING LECTURES
(I expect to be the only annoying noise you'll hear in this class)

 

TALKING TO/PLAYING WITH OTHERS DURING THE LECTURES
(These disturb those around you and are so 7th grade)

 

BLOWING BUBBLES, SNAPPING, OR OTHERWISE PLAYING WITH GUM
(Your parents should have whacked you on the back of your head for doing this when you were about nine)

Note:  this professor and/or Longwood University do not condone corporal punishment for children, but you get the idea

 

YAWNING WITH AN OPEN MOUTH
(I have no desire to review your dental history - or lack thereof)

 

WATCHING THE CLOCK
(A watched pot never boils)

 

SLEEPING IN CLASS
(How anyone can sleep through one of my performances is beyond me)

 

T_E_X_T_I_N_G

(This is nothing more than the modern equivalent of note passing and will result in banishment from my class; if you cannot survive 50-75 minutes without chit-chatting, you might want to look into an avocation other than college student)

 

ASKING ME TO CALCULATE YOUR CURRENT SCORE SO YOU KNOW WHAT SCORE YOU'LL NEED TO GET ON  THE FINAL EXAM TO ACHIEVE A CERTAIN FINAL GRADE

((1) you should already know how to do that kind of math; (2) I don't do such calculations for you; and (3) WHY NOT TRY FOR 100%?!?)

 

APPEALING A GRADING DECISION BY SENDING NASTY EMAILS

(This is incredibly poor tactics; you catch more flies with honey than vinegar)

 

New for 2010!

HAIR TWIRLING

Fix your hair before class; flipping and twirling are extremely distracting and will hamper your note-taking efforts.  If this is a compulsive behavior, consider counseling

 

New for 2010!

EATING IN CLASS

If you need to grab a snack or meal before coming to class, eat it on the way, not in class

 

ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT MOST OF THEM SHOULDN'T BE DONE IN POLITE SOCIETY ANYWAY, ALL OF THE ABOVE ARE DISTRACTING TO ME AND OTHERS.  DEPENDING ON MY MOOD, DOING ANY OF THE ABOVE MAY DRAW MY WRATH, RANCOR, IRE, ETC.
 

IT IS OK TO . . .

 

USE YOUR INTELLECT

(Process what you're hearing and think about it)

 

TAPE RECORD LECTURES

(Why no one does this is a mystery to me)

 

CHALLENGE MY FACTS OR OPINIONS

(While I have a right to academic freedom, that doesn't mean you can't challenge me; what you need to do is be polite and make a logical and reasoned response)

 

QUESTION WHAT YOU ARE BEING TOLD

(Don't let anyone spoon-feed you the "truth")

 

INTERRUPT TO ASK A PERTINENT QUESTION

(Stay on track so you don't de-rail my train of thought, though)

 

INTERRUPT TO MAKE AN INTERESTING COMMENT

(If you have experienced something that's relevant to the topic, please share it with all of us)

 

TELL ME WHAT YOU LIKE OR DISLIKE ABOUT THE COURSE

(I take your opinion seriously; just about all of the improvements to this course have come from written student evaluations and other comments - and a pat on the back once in a while helps too!)

 

QUIETLY DRINK IN CLASS
(Non-alcoholic beverages only, please, and no dregs slurping)
 

GET TO KNOW ME

(I've led an interesting life and I don't bite - at least not so that it breaks the skin - so don't be shy about talking to me; do keep in mind that students do this so infrequently that  I'll probably talk your ear off)

 

REMEMBER:

THIS CLASS IS NOT SO LARGE THAT YOU CAN BECOME INVISIBLE, SO WATCH YOUR BODY LANGUAGE. SCOWLING, SLOUCHING, SLEEPING, YAWNING, OR OTHER OVERT EXPRESSIONS OF BOREDOM WILL DRAW MY  ATTENTION; DON'T BE SURPRISED IF I STOP AND ASK WHAT THE PROBLEM IS!
 
 

Updated January 11, 2010
© David Hardin
 

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