Communicating with Professors

Communicating with Professors
Communicating with Professors
Some new college students are intimidated by their professors. Somehow they view them differently than their high school teachers. True, being a college professor carries a little more cachet than being a high school teacher, but their jobs are the same: to help students succeed. The size of college classes can certainly vary, from a lecture hall of 300 students to a seminar with five students, but your professor will make every effort to help each student. Sometimes this means having a teaching assistant help after class, but they are just as capable in clarifying subject matter and answering questions about grades as they are often the ones doing the grading. The key is make a connection early in the semester.

There will be some courses that you will need very little help outside of class to make sense of the material, but it is still beneficial to properly introduce yourself to your professor at the beginning of the course. If they can make a positive connection between your name in their grade book and your face in class, you have a leg up on your classmates. Remember that many professors are also doing their own research year round and teaching classes is sometimes secondary to their own work. However, if you can make yourself stand out without "kissing up" too much you are ahead of the game.

Introducing yourself along with a simple handshake at the end of the first class is a good first step. If your class is structured in a way where class participation is encouraged and expected, try to make sure that you contribute at least once per class. Being actively engaged in class will help make you stand out in your professor’s eyes. If you are having problems with the course material, go visit your professor during their office hours and make sure you do so early in the semester instead of waiting until the final exam. Professors respect proactive students as it shows you care about his or her class.

Many professors will encourage their students to communicate by email. Take advantage of this opportunity if it presents itself. Remember to always be professional in any email you send to a professor. Also, make sure your email address itself is appropriate, not something like [email protected]" When in doubt, use your college email account. Above all else, remember that college is a forum for the exchange of ideas and your professors are happy to facilitate this process.
http://www.onlinecolleges.net/2010/05/

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