Professors are human beings with thoughts and emotions just like you and I. Students can give themselves a huge advantage if they have strong professional relationships with their professors. There are many ways to do this, but here are my five fail-safe methods to win over the hearts and minds of your professors.
Go to office hours.
Office hours are a forum that exists for students to meet with professors and ask any and all of their questions. It is important to go to office hours early in the semester to introduce yourself to the professor so they can put a name to the face, especially in larger classes. Office hours allow students and professors to develop relationships that go beyond the typical roles in the classroom. Students who go to office hours can get the opportunity to receive academic advising, mentorship, and obviously help with their class.
Ask questions and participate in class.
Even if a professor’s lecturing makes you want to pull your hair out, it is crucial to answer the professor’s questions and ask those of your own. Although it may seem futile in bigger classes, participation is incredibly important in showing the professor that you are engaged in the class and taking it seriously.
Put your technology away!
Having spoken to many professors about this topic, it seems widely accepted that technology is the biggest distraction students face in the classroom today. Whether it is your iPhone or your laptop, it is crucial not to let your devices take away from your academic success.
Don't miss class.
In larger classes, especially those that do not take attendance, it is counterproductive to miss class even if you are able to stay up on the work. The experiences and insights you gain when going to class are unparalleled and can not be replicated by simply doing the readings and homework. Even if you are able to do well in the class without going, professors oftentimes notice the absence of students whether it is occasional or consistent across an entire semester.
Ask what they are teaching next semester.
Professors have dedicated their lives to the subjects that they teach and often times are pleased when a student expresses interest in their work. Therefore, before it is time for course registration, it is a good idea to reach out to your professors about what courses they are teaching in the coming semester. This demonstrates to the professor that you enjoy their teaching style and class.
WRITTEN BY Noah Skelskie Emory University
My name is Noah Skelskie and I am an intern in the Macmillan Marketing Department. I am a rising junior at Emory University and was born and raised in New York City. I enjoy watching any and all sports but most of all, my New York Mets (unfortunately).