I'm a returning student, and I've oft blogg/bitched about community college. Previously, I was the asshole who tormented the professor with absurd questions, made it a personal mission to prove the prof's idiocy, and had verbal fights with other students during a "class discussion." I dropped out of college and had a slew of menial jobs that provided hours to contemplate my diminished status. The easiest way to raise it was to get a degree, yet I had behaved as though I had a vendetta against learning within any institution. I have put a lot of thought into what makes a good student, and this what I've realized:
1. A Good Student wants to be in college, and understands that most of the work is done outside the classroom and therefore is self directed. A Good Student attends class unless physically unable, and does the reading and assignments on time. A Good Student changes his or her life for college, by arranging for tuition/student loans, purchase of books and supplies, work schedules, and child care before the semester begins.
2. A Good Student accepts that although the student's IQ may be higher than the professor's, the professor posses specialized knowledge that the student does not. The good student may grind his or her teeth, and roll his or her eyes, but the good student must learn from the dullest teacher. The corollary is that it is the Good Student's right and responsibility to report professors who do possess specialized knowledge of their purported feild. These professors are extremely rare, and college should not become a snipe hunt for charlatans.
3. A Good Student doesn't interfere with the class by discussion domination/derailment, or asking complicated questions covered in last night's reading assignment. To clarify, there are some stupid questions: Those that don't pertain to the current discussion and those to which you know the answer. Let the teacher be the star, and use his or her office hours if you want to discuss some tangential topic that will slow down and bore the class.
4. A Good Student uses their cell phones for emergencies only; and sets it to silent or vibrate. If the Good Student forgets, and the cell phone goes off, s/he silences it.