One of the misconceptions that students have is that grades are objective and that there is little faculty discretion. While some tests are computer graded, faculty still have considerable discretion in setting final grades. Also faculty can be very influential in references, recommendations for scholarships, creating special opportunities for students, etc. Often how a student is viewed by a professor is based upon things that professor sees you doing (or not doing). There are a number of things that drive faculty crazy and need to be avoided.
- Being late for class consistently – Faculty are generally tolerant of occasional lateness but quickly become irritated by students who are always late. What makes lateness even more irritating is when a student becomes very disruptive when finding a seat. It’s especially irritating is when the student climbs over several students to set by a good friend.
- Missing class and then wanting help – When you miss class, it’s your responsibility to get caught up on what was covered that day and what the assignment was. Don’t ask the teacher: “What did we cover today?”
- Making an appointment and then missing it – This is not only wasting your professor’s time, but it’s also denying another student an opportunity to meet with the teacher.
- Not responding to or being aware of emails sent by the teacher – Students often complain about faculty not responding to their emails. Faculty feel the same way. A lot of important course information is sent by email and it’s your responsibility to keep up with emails.
- Being too casual in your communication – Faculty aren’t your friends. You don’t start a conversation (or email) with them like you would with a friend (e.g. using words like Hey, What’s up?)
- Being sloppy with your work. — Sloppiness says: “I did this at the last minute.” You want your assignment to be easy to grade.
- Whining about grades – There is very little gained by complaining about every grade. While you should ask about a legitimate grading mistake, whining about points taken off will gain you very little.
- Being unprepared for office meetings – Most faculty want to help you, but you need to be prepared when you meet with them. Students who can’t remember what they wanted to talk about are being disrespectful.
Most of these things translate into one common trait: being respectful. It’s how you should treat everyone.