You may only have fifty minutes per class, but you all are there for the same thing. The only one with a different task, of course, is the teacher. Here are tips to help make your time a class productive and pleasant for you, your classmates, and your teacher.

Before Class Begins:

  • When you arrive in the room, greet everyone with a smile. You don’t have to engage in a long dialogue. A simple “hi” or “good morning” will do.
  • If there’s time to talk with your friends before class, do it quietly so you don’t distract others who might have last-minute studying.
  • If you have last-minute studying and your friends want to talk, let them know you have something to finish and will catch up later.
  • If you need to talk with the teacher about something, ask him if he has a minute before class starts.  If he doesn’t, schedule a time to talk later in the day.
  • If someone else is talking to the teacher and you have to wait your turn, respect her privacy by standing back a bit.
  • Be mindful of your things. Your bags can be on the floor next to you. Leave chairs and work areas clear for people to use. Keep your book bag where no one can trip over it. Whether you are seated at a desk or table or in an auditorium, try to restrict yourself and your things to the space provided for one person.

During Class:

  • You get out of class what you put into it. Even if you’re not interested in the subject at hand in general, try to find a particular aspect that you find interesting.
  • When you have something to say, do it in the style of the class. If it’s a lecture class, raise your hand when you have a question. If it’s a discussion class, wait until the person speaking has finished.
  • Follow classroom guidelines for getting up, walking around, and leaving to go to the restroom. Each teacher may have different standards.
  • Take part in class discussions. Even if you are not talkative, you can be an active listener and show interest in what the others are saying.
  • Sit up at your desk or table. Lying all over your desk is disrespectful to your teacher and fellow students alike.  You may be tired, you may be bored, but that’s no excuse for making everyone around you suffer too.
  • Avoid passing notes or texting in class. This is just as rude as interrupting one person to start up a conversation with someone else.

When Class Is Over:

  • Pick up after yourself.
  • Move promptly out of the classroom to make room for those coming in.
  • If you need to talk to your teacher, ask if it’s a good time. Even if she’s not talking to another student, she may need time to prepare for her next class. If she does, set a time to talk later.