As trainers we have a certain standards of behavior that are acceptable in the classroom. Behaviors that would fall into the category of unacceptable in the classroom include:
- Carrying on side conversations.
- Text messaging.
- Reading newspapers.
- Surfing the internet on a laptop or handheld device.
- Doing your own thing in a physical skills class.
- Arriving late for class.
- Returning late from breaks.
- Challenging the instructor with ‘Well the way I was taught to do it is…”
The question this week is what kind of student are you when you are in someone else’s class?
At the very least you should be attentive to the message and open minded to the material. You should participate without attempting to dominate (it is their class not yours). As a trainer you should be the ideal student.
It should be a given that you will not partake in the about listed ‘unacceptable’ behaviors. This is simply a matter of courtesy – common courtesy and professional courtesy.
However, as someone who primarily teaches instructor level courses I can tell you that some instructors make the worst students. For some reason certain trainers feel that behavior that would be unacceptable in their class, is somehow acceptable when they are the student. I have seen this both in courses I have taught, and in courses and presentations I have attended.
I challenge you for the next course or presentation you attend as a student to:
- Be very aware of your behavior in class.
- Remember what it is like to be at the front of the room and,
- Model your behavior accordingly.
If you take exception to something that is being taught then talk to the instructor on a break during the day or take them for a coffee after the class and explore the topic in greater detail. If you have constructive feedback then take the time to fill out the course evaluation form and provide information on how to improve the class rather than just give them a low score and leave the narrative part of the form blank.