Whatever your grade level, whatever your grades, whatever your major, whatever your ultimate career goal, we all have one thing in common: the classroom experience. Most teachers utilize the classroom setting as an opportunity to embellish and interpret material covered in the text and other assigned readings. If you always complete your reading assignments before class, you’ll be able to devote your classroom time to the new material the teacher will undoubtedly cover.
You’ve Got to Have Class
Exactly how you’ll use the skills we’ll cover in this chapter will be influenced by two factors: the type of classroom setup and the particular methods and styles employed by each of your teachers. Each of the following general class formats will require you to make adjustments to accomplish your goals.
Know Your Teacher
You must know and understand the kind of teacher you’ve got and his likes, dislikes, preferences, style, and what he expects you to get out of the class. Depending on your analysis of your teacher’s habits, goals, and tendencies, preparation may vary quite a bit, whatever the topic or format of the class.
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Take something as simple as asking questions during class, which I encourage you to do whenever you don’t understand a key point. Some teachers are very confident fielding questions at any time during a lesson; others prefer questions to be held until the end of the day’s lesson; still others discourage questions (or any interaction for that matter) entirely. Learn when and how each one of your teachers likes to field questions, then ask them accordingly
Getting ready for a class taught by the latter kind of teacher requires much more than just reading the text— there will be a lot of emphasis on your understanding key concepts, interpretation, analysis, and your ability to apply those lessons to cases never mentioned in your text at all!
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