First Day Handout/Blackboard Post

I know it’s been a long while since I last posted. It’s been a hectic semester (so what’s new, right?). I plan to get back on the posting track. In that spirit, here’s something I’ve been thinking about, especially this last two weeks of classes.

Consider this a draft of what I plan to handout and post on BlackBoard at the beginning of next semester. I’ll certainly do some reordering of items and would be happy to consider any additions you deem worthy.

Also, feel free to steal and adapt anything that works for you.


Today we begin a new semester. I look forward to working with you over the next 16 weeks. Here are a are a number of things that will help keep our working relationship strong.

  1.  no-whining-2x
  2. see above.
  3. see one and two.
  4. Whining is annoying and affects how I feel about you.
  5. Understand that you earn your grades; I don’t give them to you.
  6. Always do your best work. That’s what I expect you to do.
  7. Your best work doesn’t mean an ‘A’
  8. Don’t email about something that can be found on an assignment, the syllabus, BlackBoard or some other information I have provided.
  9. Pay attention to the course policies. They are meaningful and they apply to you.
  10. Failure to plan on your part does not constitute and emergency on my part.
  11. Don’t fabricate excuses; accept responsibility for your poor decisions.
  12. Remember that you are a student and so, there are things you need to learn.
  13. Accept that I have things to teach you.
  14. Manage your time well. I understand you have other classes, but this one is important to me; so don’t tell me you didn’t do some assignment because you had to study for some other class. I don’t care.
  15. Make use of my office hours; doing so will serve you well and will help me get to know you better.
  16. Don’t grovel.
  17. Don’t ask me about something I have just gone over in class.
  18. Participate in class discussions.
  19. Pay attention.
  20. Appear interested even if you’re faking it.
  21. Don’t whine in person or via email EVER.
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4 Responses to First Day Handout/Blackboard Post

  1. subjectivebeliefs says:

    Point 8. If only that could be made into a law.

  2. Katherine H says:

    This last semester I had students work in small groups on the first day of classes and come up with questions they had about the class. Groups shared questions, and I listed them on the board. I then handed out the course policies and syllabus, and the groups worked to find answers in those documents. We then discussed what they found, what other questions they had, and I highlighted a few things. That took most of the class period. I had many fewer of those tell me what I should be able to look up emails, and the class went well. I’m going to keep this practice. Feel free to use ie if you’d like.

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