Etiquette for the First Week of School

We’re now into our second week of school, and I’ve noticed some behavior among my students that I wish I could have squished right off the bat.  I wish I could send this out to all my students as a before-I-even-meet-you memo.

1. Show up to the first day of class.  You don’t get a get-out-of-jail free card for the first day of class – if you don’t show, then you get counted absent.  If you miss the first day of class, you should probably ask for what you missed.  You probably need, you know, the syllabus.  One student showed up on the second day of class and kept interrupting me with questions that she easily would have known if she had bothered to come to the first day of class.  Such as, what books you need.

2. Don’t come in late.  You definitely aren’t impressing anyone.  One student apologized for being late, which I appreciated a bit, but it certainly didn’t erase the face that he was late to begin with.

3. Don’t make excuses for why you can’t buy a book.  I do my best to research book prices before I pick my books in an effort to keep costs to a minimum for my students.  However, textbooks are always expensive.  You need to get used to this idea early on.

4. Be on your best behavior.  Don’t talk with your friends, text, play on the computer, roll your eyes, etc, etc, etc.  It’s the first week of school – do you really want me to remember you as the student who complained about the amount of work you had to do to my face?

5. Keep the excuses to a minimum.  The last thing we want, while we’re trying to get into the groove of teaching again, is to be bombarded with excuses.  Already?  Really?  You couldn’t wait a while to start in with the excuses as far as why you don’t have paper to write on or why you were five minutes late?  Genuine problems are great, but there’s a bit difference between a problem and an excuse.

Those are the five that stick out to me right now.  Oh, teaching is so much fun!

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3 Comments to “Etiquette for the First Week of School”

  1. When I was in school, I never liked the kids in my classes who did those things either. So likely, your other students think the students who do these things are as obnioxious as you do.

  2. This isn’t specific to the last post, I just wanted to tell reading your blog is inspiring me (I’ve been in a writing slump) and I can feel thoughts brewing away in my head.

  3. Jen: There is definitely some eye-rolling and sighing going on during times like those. I feel their sympathies as well.

    Dana: Yay! I usually get inspired by something else too. I’m not very good at just coming up with topics off the top of my head.

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