How to Avoid Common College Professor Pet Peeves


Be careful not to bug your professor GLady / Pixabay

Everyone has pet peeves and college professors are no exception. If you’ve ever sat in a classroom with a peeved professor, you’ll undoubtedly remember this experience and make a conscious effort not to act in a way that will irritate your instructor in the future. Tolerance levels for peeved behaviors will vary depending on the instructor, but all will have some sort of effect on your classroom experience.

To avoid getting your professor annoyed, it is easier if you can recognize your professor’s pet peeves. Once you successfully figure out what gets on their nerves, the next step is to not engage in those behaviors so you don’t “peeve” your instructor.

Here are a few of the most common irritations you’re likely to find common with different professors and how to avoid these common college professor pet peeves:

Problem: Mobile phones

The lecture reaches a serious point and your instructor asks a pivotal question, and in response someone’s mobile starts ringing or buzzing, even worse if its’ a loud and/or obnoxious ring tone. Mobile phones in class are probably the biggest peeve most instructors have and one that is a guarantee to seriously irk your professor. Many instructors have a firm policy when it comes to mobile, turn them off or leave them outside of class. Unless your instructor tells you otherwise.

Solution: Pay close attention to these policies, respect your professor’s request and make sure that cell doesn’t go off in class.

fancycrave1 / Pixabay

Problem: Tardiness

It is one thing if something unavoidable comes up and you’re occasionally late; most professors will forgive one or two instances, but habitual lateness is another matter. Consistency in arriving after class has started is another common pet peeve. It may even annoy your instructor to the point where it will likely impact your grade.

A common policy professors make is they will not go out of their way to mark a late student as present. It is the responsibility of the student to approach the instructor after class is over to indicate they were in class and make sure their attendance is noted.

Solution: Practice good time management and allow enough time to arrive to class in a timely fashion. Mark classes on a calendar with other appointments and commitments so there is no confusion or mistakes.

Problem: Plagiarism

This behavior is not only unethical, but stealing intellectual property is against the law. Professors regularly track plagiarism through designated search engines and will not hesitate to report you to proper channels if caught copying the work of someone else. Professors get frustrated because this not only goes against expectations and morals, but it is also a lot more work for them, not to mention disappointing to find when they come across plagiarism.

Solution: Use your own original thoughts with a combination of properly documented references. If you are unsure if you may have unintentionally plagiarized, cite where you got the idea from, even if you feel you are “over-citing”, it is always better to err on the side of caution.

Kapa65 / Pixabay

Problem: Students who don’t work up to potential

Professors love to see talent and view part of their job as nurturing students to generate their best work. Students that clearly demonstrate talent, but show laziness or no effort tend to bug professors. This may not exactly be a peeve, but a behavior that is definitely frustrating for them.

Solution: Make an effort to put your all into your work and try your best.

Problem:  “The easy class”

Another thing which tends to annoy professors is to learn students sign up for their class expecting an easy credit. No professor views their class as “easy” and, even if the course is not a vigorous one, there is a level of expectation to work on a college level and not simply sit in class waiting for the semester to be over. College is meant to challenge and professors like to see students who view it that way. These days even physical education courses require written essays and papers.

Solution: Even if a course appears to be easy and/or you have a natural inclination for the subject, make a conscious point to do your best work and not point out how you took the class just to get an easy credit. Take the work seriously.

Professors, like everyone else, will get peeved from time to time, but by making a mindful point to demonstrate courtesy in the classroom and show a conscientious effort in your work, you’ll likely avoid irritating your professor.

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