Classroom Etiquette

US Expectations for the Classroom

Grades, Assignments and Tests

My Grade

In the US, your grade is earned by the work you do. That is why you must do all of the assignments and pass all of the tests in order to pass a class. Good grades are not given because you ask or because the teacher likes you. Bad grades are not given because of your classmates’ performances. Grades are only given when you earn the points on your assignments and tests.

Cheating on homework or an exam

Do NOT cheat. You can be expelled and sent back home to your home country.

What is Considered Cheating?

If the ideas and work are not YOURS, do not include them without citing the source. This is considered plagiarism. This includes copying and pasting from the internet or using Google Translate to put your words into English. If you need to use other sources for a paper, you MUST cite the author and source, even if you paraphrase (re-write it in your own words) the information. Click here for more information about plagiarism and how to avoid it.

I missed a test and haven’t turned in some assignments. Does this matter for my grade?

Yes. Your grade depends on these points.

I need to pass this class! Why won’t the teacher give me a passing grade?

Just like in academics, you must earn enough points to get a passing grade. Even if your situation is serious, if you do not have enough points, you will not pass.

Class Attendance

You are not required to attend class. BUT, every day you earn points from in-class assignments. If you do not attend class, you will lose those points. Because ALL your points matter, this can affect your grade.

Being on time

Be in your seat with your books open, notebooks open, and pencils/pens ready by 5 minutes BEFORE class.

What if I’m late to class?

Come in quietly and take the first available seat. If you have an excuse, tell the teacher AFTER class.

What if I can’t come to class?

Tell your teacher (by email or phone) before you miss class. Make sure to contact your teacher as soon as possible if you miss class.

Student-Teacher Relationship

What do I call my teacher?

Your teacher will tell you what to call her/him on the first day. If s/he does not, it is o.k. to ask.

Should I email my instructor?

Definitely! That is the best way to communicate with an instructor outside of class.

Asking questions in class

Instructors expect you to ask questions. It shows that you are paying attention and participating. This is highly encouraged!
If the teacher asks you a question, you do not need to stand up to answer it.

Classroom Discussions

You are expected to participate by making comments or asking questions. In academic classes, discussions are 25%-50% of your grade. Participating in your ALI classes is good practice for the future.

Can I bring food to eat in class?

Yes. It is o.k. to bring snacks to eat as long as you are not disrupting class or the other students.

Other Things to Know

Order of names

In the U.S., your first name is said or written first, then your family/last name.

If I need to go to the restroom

You can leave the classroom quietly and return quietly. You do not need to ask your teacher.

Cell Phones

Turn your cell phone on silent and put it away in your backpack, off your desk. Cell phones can be a distraction for you or the other students in the class. Only get it out when your teacher asks you to use it for an activity.