How to Talk to Your Professor
Some students are in a sense afraid of their professors because professors have a certain power and they really can make a student’s life difficult. The truth is, instructors are ordinary people like every one of us. Moreover, they can help you. You just need to talk to them and ask for help. If even a thought about talking to your professor scares you, let us tell you what to do. We believe that you can become friends with your instructor or, at least, you can have a good relationship with him or her. First of all, let us tell you why and how college instructors can make your learning process easier.
How Talking to a Professor Will Help You?
What can it give you? Perhaps, that’s what you’re thinking about now. We know the answer, so we decided to give you three reasons why you should talk to your instructor. As soon as you start talking to him or her, you will find a lot more benefits.
Help With Classes
Professors are teaching others for a reason. They really are experts in their field. They know everything they teach you, so it’s hard to find a better adviser if you have any problems in class. They know in what direction you should move to complete your tasks successfully. Furthermore, when instructors see that you failed a test, they will like to help you get some extra points. You just need to realize that professors don’t want you to fail. In contrast, they want you to master their subject. Just show them that you’re interested in it too.
Access to Resources
Professors have access to resources that you would never reach without their help. They can help you get access to special databases and libraries. Another thing that makes professors so helpful is that they know people who work in college. They can help you with different problems, even those that are not directly related to your education, such as harassment or bullying, which is a common problem for modern students.
As professors have a lot of useful relationships in their fields, they can tell you of various opportunities that you may have never thought of. Job offerings, scholarships, and internships are just the most obvious examples of opportunities you can get from talking to your instructors. However, you need to show that you’re really interested in this information because otherwise, your professor won’t know that you need it. You can’t expect your professor to write a brilliant recommendation if you never talked to him or her.
How to Get Your Professor’s Help?
Perhaps you’d never thought about it, but professors like to help students. You just need to ask for help. There are, however, a few suggestions that will help you to make a conversation successful.
- Be quick. If you have a question about a certain assignment, don’t waste your professor’s time talking about the same assignment you wrote in high school. Be concise and specific.
- Be respectful. Address your instructor as “Professor,” “Mr.” or “Ms.” Don’t address female instructors as “Mrs.”, if you never heard them using this term. And don’t use the first name unless you’ve been asked to do so.
- Be friendly. Your professors spend a lot of time to teach you something. Most professors devote a few hours a week to talk to students, but the latter usually don’t use these opportunities. Thus, professors just scroll their Twitter and Facebook. There’s nothing wrong with sending a short friendly message. You never know how your professor can help you.
- Be honest. Just believe us, professors know when students lie. It takes just a few months for new professors to develop this skill. They’ve heard all the bullshit about dogs eating homework, and so on. Thus, don’t try to lie unless you’re sure your ridiculous story will make a professor laugh.
Along with these dos, there are some don’ts that you must avoid. If you don’t want to get in trouble with your professors and college administration, NEVER do these things:
- Flirt with a professor. There’s no surprise if a student has a crush on a professor, but the times when such romances were possible are gone for good. Such relationships with students can make professors lose their jobs. If you want to get a better grade, just be friendly and ask necessary questions. Don’t try to seduce your professor unless you want to be charged with harassment.
- Threaten. Many instructors get threatened by students. Obviously, these threats never go far. First of all, these students get more chances to fail exams. In addition, college administration will likely take the respected instructor’s side. Thus, if you’re angry about your marks, just try to do better in class.
- Expect special treatment. If you visit your professor in the office and have interesting conversations outside of the class, it doesn’t mean that you can fail your assignments. You’re just one of the students, so don’t expect some special sort of treatment.
- Blame your professor. If you fail your assignments, you must prepare for consequences. If you can’t prepare your assignments on time, don’t expect your professor to grade them all, spending all night before final exams looking them over. Ask about possibilities to retake the class or pass the course.
College instructors are not monsters, so you shouldn’t be afraid to talk to them. Ask them for help and you’ll find out that they are friendly people who really want to teach you something new. The very reason why they’ve chosen this profession is that they love teaching and helping others.