Professors and grades measure your success in college, at university, and afterwards, predicting the likelihood of your success in a chosen career. A professor can provide valuable insight, or point you in the right direction when you are having difficulty, and increase the level and quality of your university or college education.
Having a good relationship with professors and peers is a great way to increase your knowledge. Ultius has compiled some ways to stay on your professor’s good side, and possibly even learn something in the process.
10 Ways to Stay on your Professor’s Good Side
- Sit in the front of the classroom. Sitting in the front immediately lets the professor know that you are interested in doing well in class. In a large class, you will hear the professor more readily, and distractions such as cell phones, social media, or other students who are not engaged will be at a minimum. If you are taking online courses, try to be one of the first people who communicates when the discussion begins; this will let the professor know you are present and engaged.
- Introduce yourself after class. The professor should know who you are right off the bat, and know that you are committed to doing well. Ask a relevant question after class and introduce yourself on the first day, letting the professor know what your interest is in the course. If the course is online, try to email the professor a day or two before class starts and ask some clarifying questions about the syllabus. Introduce yourself in the process, letting the professor know what your goals are for the course, your education, and your career. In return, you may learn something about your professor’s teaching style and personal life that will give you a leg up in the future.
- Ask questions. Nothing shows true interest in a course or lets the professor know you are engaged like asking questions. If the professor is busy after class, email is a great way to communicate. Use this method to clarify any unclear assignment instructions and ask about future projects before they are due. The professor will be delighted that you are concerned about your projects ahead of time, and communication will stop you from being stressed out.
- Be present when you are in class. Stay off of your cell phone and social media in class. They will always be there, and taking a break from social activity to pay attention in class will pay off more than posting a pic of the guy next to you who is falling asleep during lecture. Take notes offline, and ask questions about the lecture whenever possible. Even if you’re not paying for your education now, you will be later if you don’t learn the material well. If you’re taking an online course, plan to participate in discussion classes in a private room where you won’t be interrupted.
- Use a few extra references on research assignments. Showing that you are willing to go above and beyond on your assignments goes a long way with a professor. Many students only do the bare minimum for an assignment, but professors can tell how much work you put into an assignment. Delve a little deeper into your studies, or research a little more than other students; this method is also great for coming up with a paper topic. You can browse through articles, look at the reference pages for them, and get ideas there. The Internet is the perfect research tool; just make sure your references are from reputable sources.
- Meet with the professor before important assignments. There are often small details in larger assignments that students miss because they were skimmed over or unclear. Clarify your topic and the instructions with the professor before the final draft of an assignment is due; it will save both of you time in the long run. When learning in an online course, clear communication and instructions can sometimes be difficult. It’s better to make sure you’re interpreting each aspect of the assignment the way it was meant to be understood.
- Don’t just answer questions in class; ask them. Standing out from your peers is a great way to get the professor’s attention. Don’t wait for the professor to call on you (in a large, lecture course that may never happen); ask a question that clarifies something for you or the class. Your fellow students will thank you for it, and your professor will know your name. Another technique that works wonders in the pleasing the professor department is to tell a short anecdote that connects with the lesson, the more entertaining and amusing the better. A funny anecdote will break up the lesson a bit and show your ability to connect the course with other aspects of your life.
- Show interest in the course topic during class. Asking questions in class shows that you are paying attention, even in an online course. Professors can tell when students aren’t paying attention or haven’t been studying; it’s what they do. Keep up on your readings, write down questions you have, and bring them up during course discussions so your professor knows you’ve been doing the assignments faithfully. A few questions sent in an email (not too often or too many; most professor can also tell when you’re sucking up to them – and they’re busy people) after class will also do the trick.
- Connect course information with another course you are taking. Life is interconnected, and so is knowledge. Part of the goal of a university education is to allow your brain to think about ideas in relationship to others. Professors love it when you connect information from another course or experience with the course they are teaching; it will help look at information in a new way, and possibly even engage your classmates. You can connect ideas in a paper for the course, a presentation, or using the anecdote method discussed in number seven.
- Connect another student’s question with one of your own. Professors love discussion, and much knowledge and new ideas come from it. The Ancient Greeks used forums to discuss ideas and laws, as well. A classroom is a forum, and should be treated as such. Ask questions and challenge your classmates and your professor whenever possible. A professor wants you to learn and be engaged, so challenging the status quo should be part of any collegiate level course Don’t be confrontational; respect others’ opinions, and defer to the professor if you sense his or her ire rising.
The bottom line is, showing interest in the professor’s course, syllabus, discussion topics, and interests is a great way to make your professor interested in you. The more the professor is interested in you and what you have to say, the less likely that he or she will dislike you or find issues with your work. Not only that, but professors are people, too.
You may find that you honestly end up liking or admiring one of your professors through these techniques, and may even find a mentor for the remainder of your time at university or college. It’s possible for a mentorship to extend further than your graduation date as well; that favorite professor may help you get your career jumpstarted, too.
Another great way to stay in your professor’s good graces is to always hand in exceptional essays and papers. Here at Utlius we specialize in helping you do just that! We are the top provider of academic content solutions to college students all over the world.