Interacting With Professors

Some general tips about interacting with professors.

First impressions are important, and it’s important to make a good impression on your professor right from day one.

-Sit up front in class. When you are up front, you are more likely to stay alert and focused on the lecture, especially if you are in a class with lots of other students. If you can’t get a seat up front, at least try to sit in the professor’s line of vision.

-Ask questions. Professors may begin or end each class with a question and answer period. Others will tell students to raise their hands at any time during the lecture if they have a question. Ask well thought out questions.

-Ask for help sooner rather than later. Nothing makes a worse impression than waiting until the day before the test, or worst yet, five minutes before the test, to ask a question about course material that was presented a week earlier. As soon as you realize that you are having trouble, make an appointment to see your professor, a tutor, or some other person designated to provide assistance.

-Read the syllabus. The syllabus contains a wealth of information and should always be your first source when you have questions about grading, course pacing, or expectations. Therefore, it’s important not to waste time by asking questions whose answers are outlined on the syllabus.

-Know and follow the class rules. Most professors have pet peeves about something. It’s important for students to know what rules are in place and to follow them. Don’t be the student in the class that the professor uses as an example of inappropriate behavior.

-Talk with your professors via email.

Excerpt from College Success Strategies by Sherrie L. Nist and Jodi Patrick Holschuh.

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