Making the grade

by Victoria Reddick, "The Voice" (Washtenaw Community College"

Often times students strive hard to succeed in their classessimply by studying for exams, doing the homework and possiblyattending class. But what can students do to truly impress theirprofessors aside from academics?

There are simple things that you can do that may actually makeyou stand out. Simple things which may sound logical yet studentstake them for granted.

Students can start by actually going to class. It is hard foryour teacher to get to know you if you fail to come to class. Thismay be why some teachers now make it mandatory to attend classwithout suffering academic penalty. When you come to class, be ontime. Punctuality is the best policy. Some teachers may look atconsistent tardiness as an insult of outright disrespect.Professors must be on time, and it is only reasonable that you dothe same. In addition, picture this — how do you feel if you paymoney out of your pocket, for tuition, like many students do, andyour teacher can’t even show up on time?

“I expect teachers to come to class on time, and I would bemildly annoyed if a teacher was continuously late to class,” saidMaryn Mishler, a student who has been attending Washtenaw CommunityCollege for nearly two years.

English professor Lisa Veasey, who specializes in technicalwriting, said that she is impressed when a student shows enthusiasmand a desire to learn. She is even more impressed when a studentcan understand the link between doing academic work in class andtheir future.

The old saying, “Don’t talk while the teacher is talking,” hasits truths. Let’s be honest, we are all adults. Be polite and don’tcarry on conversations while your instructor is teaching a lesson.And then disturb another student to ask what assignment is duetomorrow.

Try to stay awake in class. Some classes perhaps are justboring, and it can be nearly impossible to stay awake. However, ifyou are determined to make a lasting impression on your teacherespecially when it’s time to do the grades, try being the one whostays awake. Before you attend a class that may seem tiresome, goto the restroom and splash cold water on your face to ensure thatyou stay wide awake during that class.

Despite how much you strive to stay awake during class, it isnot nearly enough. Get involved. Participate in class bycontributing to a class discussion. Ask lots of questions about thematerial you are learning. Also, help answer questions that theteacher or students may have.

“I value a student’s participation in class a great deal; I alsogive students points as a reward for their participation.Furthermore, I am impressed when a student goes beyondparticipating and takes the risk of sharing something with theclass,” said Veasey.

Impress you teacher by inquiring about your grade throughout thecourse of the semester. Instead of asking after the final exam whenit is too late. Show your instructor that you are not here tooccupy space in their classroom, but rather to show them that youcare about your education and the grade you are receiving in theirclass. Veasey added that she is additionally impressed when astudent can commit to doing their personal best on everyassignment, and ask for help if they need it before the assignmentis due.

Lastly, impress your professor by remembering that although theyare not prefect, they are still your instructors. Your teachershave the proper training needed to provide you with the besteducation possible. With that in mind, don’t argue with yourteacher or be judgmental. However, if you do have a question orconcern, it may be a good idea to approach your professor afterclass with those specific inquiries.