Hello newcomers! I’m sure you’ve already noticed the big changes since your transition from High School to our very welcoming Vanier College. For all the students, rowdy or quiet, I thought it would be a good idea to share some tips with you, to help you out in the classroom. Alright, let’s get started.
1) First thing’s first. You don’t need to raise your hand to excuse yourself for a drink of water or to relieve yourself. Unless the teacher states otherwise, either in their outline distributed through Omnivox or vocally during class, try to excuse yourself quietly and not when the teacher is in the middle of a lecture (unless it’s dire and you have no other choice). By doing so, you allow your fellow classmates and teacher to continue on with his or her class, as well as not disturbing those around you. Remember to politely close the door when leaving and returning to class; it shows respect for the teacher and everyone else.
2) Don’t be too loud when opening up your backpack and placing your books on your desk if you’re late. Even though the teacher and your classmates may not say anything towards it, the ruckus of your zipper and crunched up papers are bothersome and distracting. Your classroom is not your home, and although in your bedroom you may throw your books on your desk or rip up old pages from your notebook, you can’t do that in a room full of people. You’re sharing an environment with others, so try your best to not disrupt anyone around you. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but don’t do it on purpose.
3) If you’re going to bring a plastic bottle into class, don’t start crushing it or making it crackle. Nothing, in my opinion, can annoy both students and teachers more than the sound of a plastic bottle being constantly crushed through an hour long lecture. If you are finished with the bottle, either put it back in your bag to throw it out later. Be mindful that some teachers will actually not let you bring in plastic bottles into their classroom, so if that’s the case, then it’s probably due to bad past experiences or simply because they don’t want to hear the noise and you should therefore respect their rule.
4) If you are going to be late, don’t be too late. It happens; sometimes the bus is late, the metro is stopped for a bit, or you lost track of time. Most teachers don’t mind if you arrive 5-10 minutes later, but if you come into class 30 minutes late with a McDonald’s coffee and bag covered in grease stains, you better have a good reason for it. Sure, the teacher may not ask you why you were late, or ask you to leave the class for they have a lecture to continue with, but rest assured they do find it extremely disrespectful and will remember you. If you were late due to the bus or metro, talk to them after class, or Mio them beforehand to give them a heads-up. Don’t expect them to know exactly why you were late, and as always, be mindful and respectful to the other students.
5) Last but not least, try and respond to the teacher’s questions when he asks the class. I understand some of you are shy and don’t like speaking out loud, I’m the same way. That is not to say you shouldn’t try and raise your hand, answer the question, or pose a new one of your own. If you do so at least once a class, it will help you be able to be more open with your ideas, and better your understanding of the class material. When teachers see you interacting with the class, you tend to get better marks, and also have an easier time being granted extensions for papers or added help since they notice that you actually care and participate. Speaking up even helps you personally, so take a step outside your comfort zone and give it a try.
Hope these friendly tips help you learn a little more about how to handle your new classroom environment and provide a respectful and fun classroom experience.
Written By: Michael D’Itri
Originally published: August 2015