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Teaching Tip Thursday - Be Early for Class

Welcome back to our weekly Teaching Tips feature. This week seems simple but it is one that so many instructors miss.

Arrive early for class.

Let's dig into a couple of the benefits of arriving early for class.

Demonstrating students are worth your time

I remember the faculty who came rolling into class chronically just as class time started. Those instructors would dive right into their 48 minute lecture, ask uninvitingly if we had any questions, and then say class was dismissed as they quickly packed their items and tried to beat students out the door. Put simply, they didn't see teaching as a high priority.

The instructors who arrived in class as soon as the classroom opened were those that demonstrated that they wanted to get to know their students and be available to help and support them.

Demonstrating to students you're available to them

The instructors who blew into class are also those who often missed their office hours without announcement. They were regularly unavailable to students or if you did catch them in office hours, they rushed through questions answering in the minimum viable way rather than demonstrating that they cared about understanding.

If you can't be early, stay late.

So, whenever possible, arrive early for class. If you can't arrive early, let students know why. Also try to arrange your schedule so you can stay after class if you can't arrive early. Demonstrate to students that you are available and want to support them.


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