Tips for a Better Working Relationship with Your College Professor

August 15, 2012 Category: College Tips

Having the ability to connect and work well with a college professor is one of the most valuable relationships a student can have in college. In many cases, students are simply content with just going from professor to professor each semester and going through the motions. However, coasting by in this manner doesn’t contribute positively to one’s college career.

Something as simple as getting to know one or more of your college professors can open doors to networking opportunities, candidates for letters of recommendation, as well as a professional/academic contact you can hold onto long after you’ve graduated.

Each semester, professors are introduced to tons of students and while it isn’t always easy for them to remember each person they’ve instructed, the following tips below will improve the chances of standing out in the crowd in a good way.

Speak Your Mind

Connect with College ProfessorsHow can a college professor know who you are when you don’t contribute to the class discussions? One of the fastest ways to get on a professor’s good side and become recognizable to them is by being known for having something to say.

Whether it’s a comment on the reading or presenting your point of view on a topic of debate, being vocal throughout the semester allows a professor to get a glimpse into who you are as a person and how you are interpreting the material.

However, there is a difference between being active during class and being the center of attention.

Avoiding completely dominating classroom conversation or trying to get the last word in. Such actions reflect poorly on your character and could give off the wrong impression to the professor.

Go to Office Hours

Nothing impresses college professors more than students willing to take time out of their schedule to attend office hours. But don’t force yourself to go if you don’t have to. However, if there are certain aspects of the class or assignments you don’t have a good grasp of, it doesn’t hurt to spend a few minutes at your professor’s office hours to get the answers you need.

Use the Right Approach When it Comes to Grades

Not every student receives a grade they agree with. If you find yourself in such a situation, it is possible still maintain a good working relationship with your professor but it requires tact. Never confront the professor about a grade in the heat of the moment. Be mature and sit on the matter for at least a day until you’ve cooled off. Pay attention to any written comments/feedback provided and do your best to try and see things from the professor’s perspective.

Once you’re in a more rational state of mind, see if you then agree with the grade. If not, make an appointment to discuss the issue with your professor. It is best to keep such a discussion confined to after class has ended, via email conversation or during office hours, not in the middle of class or when other students are present.

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