Today’s blog discusses the early-bird approach to class attendance versus the always-tardy look at school.
Why should you show up early? If this is one of your major classes, you have the ear of your professor before the other students arrive. Based on some classes I have taken, this means that you get to talk with him or her before the other 500 students get there. Even if you are attending a community college that only has 25 students per class, this still gives you the chance to get your questions answered personally.
You never know what nugget of information you will learn in these before-the-class chats. One of my friends is an actor who is currently attending college in New York. By showing up early for every class, he has had the opportunity to learn from his instructors who he needs to know to get that all-important first Broadway audition.
You also get to know the teacher better, and he or she gets the opportunity to learn who you are. This can be a very good thing, especially if you hope to get into graduate school someday, or if you need a letter of recommendation for a job.
Having students turn up before class begins is also an encouragement to the professor. It lets us know that you enjoy our class. It tells us that you are serious about your education and that you are willing to take responsibility for it. This can lead us to give you the benefit of the doubt if there is ever a problem.
What about always showing up late? Well, that tells us that you have poor time management skills, which means we probably won’t be giving you a letter of recommendation at any time in the future.
It also means that you don’t care enough about what we are saying to come to our lectures on time. I have had students who missed my lectures and then asked me what they missed. Don’t do that. I am not going to repeat my lecture for you privately.
People who turn up tardy irritate the professor, miss announcements, do not hear explanations and clarifications of assignments, and lose points off of their final GPA in all of my classes. I take attendance (or am marking you present on my roster) at the beginning of class; in my courses, two tardy appearances equal one absence and one absence removes 1 point from your final GPA. I have had students who earned an A but got a C because of their attendance behaviors.
People who show up late frequently do not have their work done. I love that old saying “failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.”
I hope you have found these tips handy. Best of luck as you navigate college!