Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world. (1 Peter 2:12)
We hear a lot of freethinking mosaics (that's your generation's nickname) declaring they don't care what people think. In fact, we take great pains to paint a picture for others detailing precisely how we wish to be viewed.
There are a couple of ways to secure a good first impression. The first is to be committed to listening. Whispering and goofing off during instruction is not just a high school phenomenon. It has reached almost epidemic proportions accross all ages groups in our culture, and it never fails to communicate one very clear message...I don't care at all about what your saying.
Take time to remember and use names. Names are important to everyone's identity, including your teachers. Remembering, using, and correctly spelling a teacher's name is an indicator of respect...ahem, which they deserve.
*This also goes with co-workers, business owners. Everyone you come to contact with*
Finally, don't talk to much in general! Talking shows off how much we know, which to our embarrassment often turns out to be very little. Listening proves we are willing to become wise.
In today's verse, Peter is exhorting a church often accused of disloyalty to the Roman government that they should be making every effort to prove God's goodness through their behavior. Our good reputation, in other words, belongs also to God if we claim to belong to him. The classroom is a great place to start practicing a life that draws others to the person of Jesus.