Fortunately, it’s not really that difficult to impress your instructor. All you have to do is:
- Arrive to class on time and stay the whole time. If you have extenuating circumstances or a health issue that makes this difficult, try to speak with the instructor so they understand your situation and can help you work through it.
- Only miss a class if you have to due to illness, a family matter, etc. Again, if you have to miss class because you are dealing with mental health issue or personal problems, you can let your instructor know. You can even be vague and write, “I am dealing with family issues currently and have found it difficult.” This way your instructor can work with you to provide alternative arrangements for work.
- Pay attention in class. No one likes talking to a room full of people who are texting, just like you probably don’t like going out to dinner with your friends and watching them all talk to people who aren’t there.
- Participate in class. Try to say at least one thing each class if you’re in a seminar. If you’re in lecture, you can sit in front and look engaged. Sit up straight and take notes. If you are worried about speaking, prepare a few comments the night before or try to respond to something another classmate has said.
- Turn in your assignments on time. Make sure you followed directions and that your work is complete. If you think you will need an extension, ask a day or two ahead of time. Most instructors will agree.
- Elaborate on answers and come prepared. Don’t write “yes” to a question. Explain your answer. If you’re doing a presentation, prepare it ahead of time instead of making up stuff on the spot. If you get to choose your own topic, choose your own topic instead of using whatever example the instructor used in class.
If it looks incredibly easy, it is! However, keep in mind that many classroom policies are set up with the expectation that students will not be coping with personal issues or will not need accommodations. This is unfortunate and policies are slowly changing. So if you do find some of these suggestions difficult, you may want to contact any relevant offices or resources on your campus, and talk to your instructor about them if possible.