College Related

5 Things You Should Never Say To/ Ask A Professor on The First Day of Class

Now that the spring semester has started, I think its high time that I started working my way back to regular posting on Ighouda.com. I had been planning on coming back for years, but the time escaped me, and I kinda went on to other passion projects that put this blog on the back seat. With that being said, I’ve been a college student for years (and still am) and over the years, I have seen my fellow students say some not-so-great things to their professors on the first day of class that is either considered to be inappropriate or just plain out rude. Here is a small list of those things.

“Do We Get Out Early?”

I don’t know why some students do this, but it is not just inappropriate. It’s straight-up rude. It’s perfectly normal to not care for sitting in a 2-3-hour class, but that’s what you signed up for. We all registered for the class that would fit our schedule, no one forced you. Even if the course didn’t exactly fit into your schedule or you registered late so you weren’t able to get the class time you wanted, you still registered for it because you needed that class. When you go to college, you are treated as an adult, which means you should act like one. Asking a professor if you get out early on the first day of the class automatically says that you are uninterested in getting the most out of the course and that you don’t value the professor’s time. Keep in mind that whether you get full financial aid or not, you’re still paying for the course and trying to get out early means that you aren’t getting your money’s worth when it comes to your education.

“This Is A Lot of Work”

College is work, and nothing in life comes easy. Sometimes students will look at their syllabi and feign disgust when they look at how many assignments need to be handed in, how many pages are required for their final paper, or how many tests will be given throughout the course. For the most part, professors typically give their students an adequate amount of work for the level of the course and that can also be based on the professor’s prediction of previous classes and the student’s capability to do the work. Additionally, sometimes the course load can look like it’s a lot until its explained. So, give your professor a chance to explain their syllabi before jumping to conclusions.

“Can I Hand in Work Late”

This probably has to be one of the worst things to ask a professor on the first day of class for many reasons. Unless you know your schedule for the whole semester and know that you won’t be able to hand in a specific assignment on the day it’s due, try not to inquire about handing in an assignment late in front of the whole class. Without context, this can make you look lazy and come off as though you go out of your way to do the bare minimum. If you have a serious inquiry or concern with being able to turn in an assignment late at the beginning of the semester, it might be a better idea to go to the professor’s office hours or send them an email explaining your situation and why you won’t be able to turn the assignment in on time. Usually, a professor will except a late assignment as long as there is some documentation presented in advance or on the day you turn the assignment in. Though, I would advise against not letting the professor know in advance and just showing up days later with your paper.

“Do We Really Need to Come to Class on Time?”

Just like its rude to ask the professor if you can get out of class early, it is just as rude if not more to ask a professor is you can come to class late. Especially on the first day of class. If you have a tendency for tardiness, it’s probably not a good idea to make that known to your professor in front of the whole class. I’m sure other students might be wondering the same thing, but I would personally wait and observe the professor’s habits before allowing myself to become comfortable with the idea of coming late because technically if you’re not late if your professor comes in because the class cant start without them. If your schedule forces this habit, I suggest getting in contact with your professor to explain the situation and if you find yourself coming to class considerably late by over 20-30 minutes, you should probably drop it and see if there are other classes available within the first week of class where student are known to drop courses, which can re-open some time slots for you.

“Can I Bring My Kid to Class?”

If I was a professor, this would probably annoy me the most for many reasons. Children do not belong in a college classroom. To them, it’s not stimulating mentally and there is nothing for them to do. It also takes away from the learning experience of the other students if your child has a problem staying still for long periods. And don’t get me wrong, I love kids. But as a student, I have seen my fair share of seeing students using their kids as leverage to get their way with professors. I’ve also seen parents themselves causing a scene and a distraction when disciplining their children in the class. And because a child will need a seat to sit in a while in the class, it takes a seat away from a student who paid to attend the class and is entitled to that seat. And we’ve all had the treacherous experience of having to find a seat in a crowded class. It’s not fun. I usually find towards the end of the semester, professors might be okay with children being in the classroom when it’s not too crowded, but some institutions have set of rules that include not allowing children in the classroom which if the professor doesn’t adhere to, could end up getting them fired for being too lenient.

Final Thoughts

While it’s always great to ask your professors clarifying questions on the first day of class, some things should probably never be asked allowed or not at all. If your not sure if you should ask your question in front of the class, ask the professor after class when there are fewer students around, send them an email or meet with them during their office hours.

What’s the most ridiculous question you ever heard a fellow student ask a professor?

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