Welcome! (Introduction for Students)

The following is the classroom introduction page I used for my new students when I was an ESL teacher in California. I keep for posterity and to reminisce:

Hi, I'm Christopher (or Chris), welcome to my class. On this website, I will be posting longer explanations to questions, examples for your homework, and other goodies that you don't want to miss. I'm not going to say that checking this site regularly is required for the class, but you are very much encouraged to do so.

Below are some rules in no order that you should read and follow. If there are any questions or suggestions, please ask.

Talk, participate, and be a part of the culture of the class. You won't learn as much if you just sit there silently in fear. And nobody will laugh at you in my class. I promise.

Late homework receives a 50% deduction. Do the math. If you turn in two late assignments, it's the same as not doing one of them. Also, please note: Doing the homework and not bringing it to class is the same as not doing it.

No late tests/quizzes will be allowed unless prior plans are made OR there is a medical reason (and yes, GGLS will ask for a doctor's note).

Type your work. No hand-written homework will be accepted unless specifically mentioned, like for a short assignment. I want you to take pride in your work. Handwritten work just looks too messy and rushed. Also, you need to learn to type in English.

Be on time. I am very strict about this rule. If I can make it to GGLS by 8:30 on a bike from downtown, you can be in your seat at 9:00. (If you've got kids or a bus to take, talk to me beforehand if there's a recurring problem.)

Disrespectful behavior will absolutely NOT be allowed. If you are rude to me or another student, you will be asked to leave the classroom. And it won't be fun.

Try or stay home. If you come to my class and don't try, you'll be asked to leave. Every student gets as much time as I think they need, and if you're wasting mine by distracting me with your laziness, you'll be asked to leave, so I can concentrate on the others.

Phones are allowed in class as long as they're used for learning. If I see a non-class-related application open on your phone, tablet, or computer, you will be asked to put it away and no longer be allowed to use the device that day. Period. Technology is very useful, but let's focus while we're trying to learn.

Cheating, including plagiarism and copying will result in a 0% for that assignment. And I will move your chair right next to mine IN ALL YOUR CLASSES WITH ME because I simply will not ever trust you again. Trust is a weird thing. Don't damage it.

Please don't stink or wear too much perfume or cologne. This is a tough rule, but one I need to follow. Personal hygiene is cultural, and so some cultures have different ideas of what clean is. I'm not going to tell you how often to clean your body because I'm not your mother. But please don't make it difficult to sit next to you. Also, we have small rooms here at GGLS, so if you wear a lot of perfume (again, this is cultural), I will ask you not to in the future. Please save us both from an embarrassing conversation.

Have fun. Seriously. I write these rules for the 5% of students who don't come here and work hard and enjoy the lessons and newness of America. For most of you, coming to class, asking questions, and doing the work is what you want to do. I don't want to scare you into thinking I'm not a nice guy or that this class will be too difficult to enjoy. These rules are here because 5% of students need them. I'm sure that's not you.

I'm here for you. I've lived in foreign countries before. In fact, I've lived in three of them, each for an extended amount of time; I know what you're going through. Let me help you enjoy your time here. If there's a problem, ask. Also ask if you need help with day to day stuff. Seriously.

There are no bad words. If you hear a word on TV, radio, or somehwere else and you don't know what it means, ask. Any word.

Please knock on the door before entering in the morning. I bike to work often, so when I arrive, I need to change clothes, and dress. If you walk in on me naked, I promise you'll share in my embarrassment. Please knock, or wait until I open the door in the mornings. It's best for all of us.