Contributions in class, relationships are success

Bart Tatum - Head Football Coach

Bart Tatum – Head Football Coach

As the head football coach for Missouri Southern State University my biggest concern is the academic performance of our players.

Many variables are involved with the academic success of college students. Intelligence and reading proficiency are two variables that will forever be linked to academic performance. Some variables, like intelligence, are considered to be out of the control of a student to a certain extent.

There are variables, however, that all students can manipulate to their advantage in the classroom. Two such variables are contribution to the class and relationship with the professor.

Contribute to the class. One can contribute to a class in a wide variety of ways. Timely attendance is an easy way to contribute. Late and absent students disrupt a classroom and do not promote anyone’s learning.

An attitude of excitement is another excellent way to contribute to class. Excited students are organized and prepared and consequently they participate in class. Organized and prepared participation promote the very best of college classrooms. Contributing students also respect classmates and professors. A climate of open dialogue and discussion where both students and professors are encouraged to communicate, contribute and share is impossible without respectful participants.

Establish the professor-student relationship. Productive professor-student relationships do not simply happen. Students have to work to establish them. Very few professors will take the lead in establishing a relationship, and they probably should not, most of the time. College students should be equipped and motivated to do most of the work to establish a relationship. Once a relationship exists, most professors will more than do their part to sustain the union.

If a positive relationship exists, the professor will desire success for the student and become an advocate.

In conclusion, some students are better equipped genetically for academic success. All students can become more productive in the classroom by developing “people skills” and practicing these skills in the classroom. Students that contribute to the class and develop a relationship with the professor will by virtue be much more productive.