Professor relations can be tough for many students, both international and national alike. Particularly in a large classroom or lecture hall, it’s difficult for a student to feel like they can interact with the professor personally.
There are ways in which you can get to know your professor and improve relations to make your experience in the class more rewarding.
Here are several ways in which you can improve your professor relations:
Use Office Hours
Whether it’s a small, discussion-fueled class or a large lecture hall, your professors have certain hours set aside every week during which they sit in their offices and wait for students to come speak to them.
Some professors will post a sheet on their office door for students to sign up for a particular time slot to meet during office hours. Others will simply sit in their office and see students on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Office hours are probably the most valuable tool for a student to improve professor relations. Not enough students take advantage of them! It is during this time that you can discuss a grade you’ve received, or a part of the lesson you didn’t understand, and get to know your professor at the same time!
Improve Your Work Ethic
Professors respect students that work hard. When improving your professor relations, remember that the effort (or lack thereof) you put into your work is obvious to your professors.
Be prepared for class! Do all the assigned reading beforehand so that you can actively participate in discussion. Your professor relations will improve when they notice your dedication. Also, take good class notes. This will make you an active listener as well as help you study for finals!
Though you want to have good professor relations, it’s important not to overstep boundaries. Professors often have hundreds of students in their classes per semester, and need to be attentive to the needs of all of them.
While it’s okay (and even encouraged!) to interact with your professor with the occasional email and visit to his/her office hours, don’t overdo it! Professor relations should remain professional and courteous.
Professor relations are an important aspect of your US class experience. Make sure you establish good professor relations and make the most of it!