Students should offer respect to professors

Kali Daniel

Respect. One simple word, idea, concept with almost no adherence.

Each Tuesday and Thursday, I enter my 300-level class in a timely fashion. I sit, eyes focused on the professor or PowerPoint. I wait for my professor to dismiss class before packing up. I am not the symbol of respect by any means, though at times I feel these simple actions are important.

Not everyone in classes act the same and, surely, some act even more attentively and engaged than myself.

America is often considered one of the most disrespectful countries in the world for various reasons from political behavior to classroom etiquette.

As the same student stumbles into my Tuesday-Thursday class 10 to 20 minutes late every class, I am astounded. He walks past the first four rows, huffing and puffing. He then sits down, opens his laptop and plays on his computer and phone for the remainder of class, distracting everyone behind him.

I am not even sure he feels he is being disrespectful to not only the professor, but students around him attempting to be engaged in a difficult course.

I think we can all — including myself — take the time to consider our classroom behavior in the following ways:

  • Wait for the professor to dismiss class before packing up. He or she is allocated 50-75 minutes and are not required to dismiss early.
  • Make eye contact if possible, allowing for greater possibility of engaged listening.
  • Be five minutes early to class. Professors notice.
  • When and if you are late, apologize face-to-face.
  • Let professors know ahead of time if you will not make it to class, excused or otherwise.
  • Leave your phone in your backpack.
  • Use a notebook instead of a laptop — it is scientifically proven you will retain more information if you write it, and you are less apt to become distracted. Or if you have to use a laptop for various reasons to take notes, stay on the Word document instead of traveling to Facebook.

Ultimately, college is students’ first opportunity to show their professors and peers they are ready for the adult world. One tiny word can influence your grade, reputation and long-term success: Respect.