Just as any retail employee can tell you about customer behaviour that never fails to get under their skin, every university professor, no matter how much they love their job, knows of a few student behaviours that brings out their deepest rage … or at least mildly annoys them.
Here’s what a survey of some Kwantlen instructors turned up.
Stop texting and get off social media.
I heard this from each professor I interviewed. You might think they don’t notice when you are staring at your phone, but they most certainly do. Having someone stare at a computer screen while you try to speak is annoying. One can only imagine how irritating it is seeing the same students doing it every class.
“I’m not even sure they always recognize that cell phone use isn’t appropriate. Many students, particularly younger students, are so used to having their cell phones with them every day that they don’t even realize that they should be paying attention.” – Kim Larson, English
“I know that you’re not looking at Power Point slides or doing anything associated with class when you’re looking at your computer.” – Jan Thompson, Geography
Go to your professors when you need help.
This is literally what they are there for and yet many students end up missing vital information because they refuse to get help from professors when they need it. Professors have a vested interest in their students’ success: It does not reflect well on them when their students perform poorly. Any professor worth his or her pay will sit down with a student to help them understand the material and that’s why it can be aggravating when a student would rather fail the class than come to them.
“Use your instructors. So many students wait until the last class to say, ‘Oh, my gosh I’m not doing well. What can I do to make up marks in this class?!'” – Jan Thompson, Geography
That said, if the answer is clearly established, then don’t waste your professor’s time.
Nobody likes fielding the same questions over and over. This is why professors hand out a syllabus at the beginning of every semester, with the answers to any frequently asked questions. Still, every now and then a student is going to come up and ask what the midterm is worth, despite the fact that that info is clearly available on that magic piece of paper.
“Students ask me, ‘Can you give me details about this?’ and I’m like, it’s on the syllabus which we already went over.” – Katie Warfield, Communications
Don’t invite your friends to your class.
You paid to tuition to be in class. The cost of admission grants you and you alone the right to be in that classroom. Despite this, every now and then, often in lab situations, students in geography professor Jan Thompson’s class will invite friends into the class to keep them company. Don’t do this.
Yes, if you missed a class than you missed something important.
This might be more of a matter of poor wording than anything but there is one question that Jan Thompson hates being asked more than perhaps any other.
Did I miss anything important last class? asks the student as if it’s likely that the class spent the entire period doing nothing of consequence. Not only is this a dumb question, because certainly something important will have been covered over an hour-and-a-half or three-hour class, but it also says something about the student’s attitude that he or she doesn’t consider all of the material covered important.
“One of the big things that I have is when someone missed a class and then comes to me and asks ‘Did I miss anything important?’ Well, everything is important.” – Jan Thompson, Geography
To add to this, if you didn’t do the readings don’t expect your professor to give you the Sparknotes.
“Students sometimes don’t do the readings and then expect me to tell them exactly what was in the readings. These students don’t take responsibility for their own learning. They want you to provide them with all this information without doing the work.” – Kim Larson English
Class time is not porn time
This one might be a little specific and incredibly obvious but according to psychology professor Dr. Dan Bernstein it does happen. He says he had an occasion where he took a look at what was on a student’s laptop and there it was – hardcore full frontal porn for the enjoyment of that student and any student who happened to be sitting behind him. Save it for after class.
“He was a good student but…that was not good.” – Dr. Dan Bernstein, psychology