You Can Gain More Than Good Grades from Professors

Building a relationship with professors provides students with a more fulfilling collegiate experience.
February 13, 2018
5 mins read

When you observe the statistics of students using all resources possible to get the most out of their classroom education as well as their professor’s help, the results are that not many individuals take advantage of these opportunities.

Long story short, professors care about students and their education. If professors didn’t care about the subject they were teaching or who they were teaching it to, then they probably wouldn’t have become experts in their specific field.

Considering this, every student should feel encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities laid out in front of them. Every professor (usually) is a teacher solely because they love what they study and want to teach others. If a student is struggling with a specific assignment or lesson taught in class, then the best solution to the problem is to follow up with the person who’s teaching them.

Professors are the solution to most of a college student’s problems. Yet, most students find themselves avoiding their professors at all costs and getting in and out of the classroom as fast as they can.

What are the thoughts of those on the opposing end? The following are some typical suggestions given by professors that could benefit the student seeking to succeed at all means. These are the things your professor wishes you would do to help you get the full benefit of your college experience.

Go to their office hours

If you haven’t guessed, professors want you to go to office hours; ask questions and get help with what you need. Mandatory or not, most professors sit around during their office hours hoping students pop in to make conversation of the things they’re learning, struggling with or need advice on.

Believe it or not, professors usually care more about the individuals’ success during and after the class than the individual themselves. A 15 – 30-minute meeting with a professor could be the breakthrough you’ve been waiting for in trying to figure out the difficult parts of the course you’re taking.

Build a relationship with them

Get to know your professor on a more intimate level. Develop a relationship with them that makes it more comfortable to communicate with them on a weekly basis.

Developing relationships is only the start of what will be a daily process of your market-place life after graduation. Getting to know your professors should be no different than any other relationship developed outside of the classroom. Remember, your professors are there to help you and not to tear you down if you are an excellent student who puts in the best work possible.

Building a relationship with your professors is also a great opportunity to ask for reference letters and developing a greater network of people who could potentially give you a boost in getting hired in the workplace. Taking advantage of your professors by getting on their good sides is the best way to go.

Participate in class

Always try participating in your professor’s class. Show them that you care about what they’re teaching by engaging with the lecture. Raise your hand to ask for a deeper explanation of something or answer a question that’s being asked even if you get it wrong. Professors are more concerned with a “try” rather than a “correct answer.”  The classroom is a learning environment where participation is necessary to get the best out of your course material.

Professors typically keep track of those who frequently speak up to engage with the course lectures. Speaking up is also a good indicator of the student’s perception, involvement and quality of what’s being taught. Help your professors help you by adding to the quality of the classroom learning experience by engaging with the material.

Don’t be a stranger

Don’t avoid your professors during or after you take the class. Keep in contact with them over the course of the semester and continue to develop the relationship you’ve previously started in the beginning. Professors like to continue relationships with students who could potentially lead successful careers in the future.

Teachers are constantly shaping the leaders of tomorrow’s world and they are also part of that agenda. Try to shake off the awkwardness of the first meeting with your professor and get the quality of your education that you deserve.

In conclusion, the quality of your relationship with your professors will make or break your student career and college experience. Your education is best practiced when it is exercised to the best of its ability. And the resources you can gain from professors are one way of getting the most out of your education.

Professors are here to not just get paid but to develop tomorrows leaders in their specific field. The desire of every teacher is that what is being taught is correct and useful to the learner’s best ability. Whether you like your professor or not, the quality of your education and the money being put into it should encourage you to take advantage of every opportunity given to you.

Briana Perez, University of Texas at San Antonio

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Briana Perez

University of Texas at San Antonio
English/Professional Writing

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