So many times in college I remember cussing someone out in my mind because they simply lacked College classroom etiquette.
You would think that one would have learned classroom etiquette what with being in school their whole life until they got to campus, but that simply wasn’t the case.
A lot of the people who I found to be really annoying about classroom etiquette seemed to be taking college for granted, so I shall use my platform to put some things on the record. College is still very much a privilege.
I know for people who have the funds at their disposal and have the luxury to do nothing with their lives and still be able to live comfortably, a lot of this will be unrelatable. But the truth is that for most people in the world, college is still an opportunity that gets them to the next income bracket.
College gets them out of poverty and while you don’t care or respect your own ambition, at least respect theirs.
It is for their sake and mine that I would bother to write this. Classroom etiquette is about respecting your time as much as other students’ time and investment.
They have paid for that time and that class. It is inconsiderate of you to use that time to run your mouth catching up about the weekend while other students are struggling to pay attention.
With that rant out of the way, let’s look at ten classroom etiquette tips.
Table of Contents
1. Be punctual
The first and most considerate thing you could do to be considerate of your classmates is to show up on time.
It is for punctuality’s sake that official class timetables are released weeks in advance of a new semester, for you to get organized and show up to your classes on time.
If you need some help with being punctual, I’ll share with you my secret. Look at how long it takes you from your home to be seated in the classroom.
If it’s two hours, then you need to work it out backward. If your class starts at 9 am, then you know to be up by 7 am to be on time. Also, always allocate time for traffic and time to find parking if you drive.
2. Stay off your phone
It is extremely rude to be on your phone during class unless your instructor has asked the class to search for something online. It is disrespectful to you because you have paid for that time, it is literally your dime you’re wasting, but it is also disrespectful to your instructor.
This is their time with you and being on your phone is like saying you don’t care what they have to say, but here is the thing, if you don’t care what they have to say then why bother showing up in the first place?
3. Keep Silent
This had to be the one that pissed me off the most. Could you please keep silent while the class is in session? Why is it important?
Well, for starters, speaking distract other students from concentrating on what the instructor is saying. It also prevents you from catching what the instructor is saying, so for everyone’s sake, leave the stories for the cafeteria.
4. Raise your hand to speak
Another one that really irked me was students who would simply speak out without raising their hands. It is a huge class, if everyone simply said what they had to say without putting up their hands, then there would be no order.
To make sure there is some order, be sure to put your hand up. That makes the class more enjoyable because more people can share their views.
5. Respect other students’ contributions
It is very important to be respectful of other students’ contributions. College is an opportunity for students to learn how to coexist with people who have different beliefs and ideas, and learn to be okay with it.
If that is hard for you then college is just the learning tool for you.
You don’t have to always agree with another student’s views and that is exactly why sharing is encouraged, so you can hear different outlooks and challenge the way you think and look at life in general.
But be that as it may, respecting their views is mandatory, not optional. Even though deep down you might think or feel differently, that is your prerogative and yours alone.
6. Turn to take during discussions
Most college classes have stopped being lectures and tuned more into seminar style where the classroom sessions are more conversational. It is therefore important for you to prepare beforehand so that you can be part of the conversation.
Being part of the discussion is not only polite but it also creates opportunities for you to meet new people, to network. You might even make friends because someone liked what you had to say.
7. Mind your language
Do you cuss like a sailor?
No matter it’s just that the classroom is not the place for it. It is also important to speak in a common language.
I saw this a lot with students from other countries speaking in a foreign language in the classroom which would always really piss the instructor off who would then yell, “SPEAK IN ENGLISH”.
Think of the classroom as a place of work. Would you speak your mother tongue in the office? Of course not so why would you do it in the classroom?
8. No food
While drinks are okay, the classroom is no place for food. It is for that reason that all schools have a cafeteria as well as other social spaces for students to use as they please. So in short no food in the classroom.
9. Be professional
This one of for group assignments. I saw this all the time students wanting to be in the same group as their friends which would always cause so much commotion during group assignments which highlighted to me that these students didn’t get the point of group work.
The reason why group assignments are such a huge part of the college experience is that we don’t get to pick our workmates, they want us to get accustomed to working with people we don’t know, people from different backgrounds, different cultures, people who think differently from us.
They want just to get accustomed to being professionals who can put their personal feelings aside for the greater good in this case is the successful completion of the group assignment.
10. Stay in the classroom throughout
The final tip is about moving in and out of the classroom freely, which is disruptive, all that movement affects the general flow of the session and ruins the class.
As I said earlier, classroom etiquette is about being considerate of yourself and others. Think of each class as your favorite. Would you want someone ruining it for you by moving in and out of the classroom as they pleased?
Of course not. Extend that courtesy to your classmates because while that class may not be your favorite, it is someone else’s so be mindful of them.
I really hope this helps someone. I hope it makes college classes more enjoyable for someone. If it can do that, then that’s all I could ask for.
That’s all for now. Be sure to observe Covid protocol. Stay safe!