Let’s face it, some professors are intimidating. And when you’re in a big class among dozens of other students, it can sometimes feel like you’re just another face in the crowd to your educational counterparts.
But you can stand out. Despite the factors that seem to make bonding with your professor an impossible task, it is possible. And it’s actually fairly simple. Start today by taking these five basic steps to getting on your professor’s good side.
Show up Don’t want your next one-on-one with your professor to be awkward? Start by showing up to class regularly prepared and ready to go. Usually, all it takes for your professor to remember exactly who you are is one instance where you contribute something original to the class discussion, or ask a few questions that show you’re engaged.
Treat them as a colleague: While it’s always a good idea to address your professor by their correct title, acknowledging their title doesn’t mean you have to be your professor’s subordinate. In fact, most professors enjoy having an open dialogue with students who are interested in the research they are doing or the subject they specialize in. Treating your professors like a coworker also helps you prepare for corporate culture.
Always be honest: This is the golden rule of professor relations. Aside from being an ethical obligation, being honest when you talk to your professor protects you from hurting your own reputation. Being up front and honest helps build the trust of professors and means they’ll be more likely to give you a good recommendation if you ever need a reference. Not to mention, professors do talk, and you don’t want your standing among them to be worsened.
Be concise Most professors have been around the block. That being so, they’ll probably know the point you’re trying to get across before you’ve even made it. Keep things short and sweet when it comes to talking to professors and for the most part let them do the talking; their job, after all, is to communicate with students. Professors will not only appreciate the brevity, but be more likely to give you a few minutes of their time before or after class if they know you’ll be concise.
Ask for advice No matter what the class, every professor you will ever have can give you advice on something in life. If the questions you ask are truly engaging, chances are they’ll enjoy it giving you advice, too. Make it a point to ask every professor how they thing their class might apply to your field of study, your career path, or even the modern world. Doing this can not only open your eyes to jobs or ideas you’d never previously thought of, but it’s a great way to show your dedication to professors.
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