A colleague of mine once received an email from a student. Noticing that the student in question should have been in a lecture at the time, she emailed to ask why he was not in the lecture theatre. He replied; 'I am'.
After fifteen years as a University Lecturer, I have seen and heard students do many things that frustrate lecturers. The above is just one such example, but the amazing array of ways that students can infuriate their professor never ceases to astound me. Here is my top 10 of what students should never do (and all of them are real examples that have happened to me):
1. Don't email your lecturer to apologise for not being able to attend a lecture and then asking 'will I miss anything important?' That is kind of the whole point of the lecture.
2. When asked during a lecture if anyone has any questions, do not raise your hand and ask 'will this be on the exam?'
3. Don't email or tweet your tutor whilst you are sitting in their lecture; the time of your tweet is logged so they will know that you were not deeply engaged with the subject matter that they have spent years carefully crafting and honing.
4. Resist the temptation to sign your emails to your tutor with a row of xxxxxs.
5. Don't miss a 9am lecture due to being hungover/oversleeping then ask your tutor for a private tutorial to go over what you missed.
6. Don't have too many grandparents die around coursework deadlines - thus warranting coursework extensions. It always strikes me that exam time and deadline time is a dangerous time for elderly relatives of students and there really ought to be a widespread warning to families of students at that time of the year.
7. Avoid copying chunks out of the text book that your tutor wrote and pass it off as your own work. There is a good chance they will notice.
8. Don't email your tutor with a vague query without explaining who you are. Example: 'Can you tell me what the essay question means?' or 'I didn't quite understand the 33rd slide of your lecture'. We might be currently teaching around 500 students across a range of modules, each with different coursework requirements, so help us out a little with some clues such as year of study, module, essay title etc.
9. Don't send draft work to your tutor that is littered with spelling mistakes and typos. Our job description does not include proof-reading your work. Yours does.
10. And finally, try to resist the temptation to whistle Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer very loudly during a lecture. Yes, this really happened to me recently (although, to be fair, I was discussing the 'Rudolph Effect' at the time).
Oh and one more thing; it's never a good idea to trash your tutor on social media: they will find out (so, if any students of mine don't like this article, keep it to yourself!).