Student Success Strategy #63: Never Ask This Question

“Professor, I missed last class.  Did we do anything important?”

This is probably the most irritating question a professor gets.  Did we do anything *important*?

My usual response is, “No, we did absolutely nothing of value in the last class.  Aren’t you glad you missed it?”

And then I turn away and do something else.

That should be the end of that conversation.

If, however, you ask whether I’d stay a few minutes after class to review the topics covered, assignments discussed, or how to be sure you have the correct information, I’m happy to oblige.

I’ll answer your questions, guide you to further resources, and do what I can to help you catch up to the class.  If you say that you’ve already received help or notes from another student, I’ll even go over those notes with you to fill in anything for which you need a more thorough understanding.

I’ll also remember you as a student who cares about learning the content of the class and one who is serious about education.   Need a letter of recommendation in the future?  I’ll think about you with words like “takes initiative,” “responsible,” and “intelligent” rather than “slacker” or “uncommitted.”

Student Success Strategy #63:  Never ask “Did I miss anything important?”  It’s a sure way to annoy your professor.


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