Monday, August 20, 2012

An Important Decision – Where to Sit on First Day of Class

This post from Law Student Ally gives some advice to incoming 1Ls about choosing a seat on the first day of class.

“Up Front and Center

            Pro: Easier to maintain focus when the professor is in your face; less likely to surf the web for fear of getting caught; easier to see the board or screen

            Con: Too many eyes on your back, especially when you have to stand to brief cases; too many eyes on your computer screen, especially when you are on Facebook; if you have to take a bathroom break, everyone watches you walk in and out

Back Row

            Pro: If you like to fidget, lean back in your chair, or stretch, you can do so without bothering anyone; you have more space because you can dump your stuff behind you; when you speak, not as many people stare at you; you can surf the web with privacy

            Con: Not the place to be seen if you want everyone’s eyes on you every time you speak; no outside influences to keep you off Facebook and on task; the person next to you may distract you with what he has on his screen

In the Middle

            Pro: The best place to get to know the most people; more access to help from others when the professor asks a question and you draw a blank or you weren’t listening

            Con: you have less space; you have more people near you, so it is more likely that someone near you is annoying; you have to climb over people to take a bathroom break

On the Edge, Near the Door

            Pro: The place to sit if you need to take bathroom or mental health breaks; you should never be late, but if you are, this is the least intrusive seat when walking in late; when you have a tight schedule, you can be the first one out the door after class

            Con: The sight line to the screen or board may make it difficult to see; the professor may never learn your name or face because he or she rarely looks in your direction”

Have a great first week 1Ls!


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If the objective is to get a good grade (a definite Pro, it would seem to me), there is research showing that students who sit up front get better grades.

Posted by: Otto | Aug 21, 2012 7:45:29 AM

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