To some students, approaching their professor is not a big deal, but it can be pretty nerve-wracking for many. For a better outcome in your studies, however, it is a necessity. So here are a few tips to help ease the discomfort of talking to your professor.
Ask for an Appointment
First off, it is important to set up an appointment in advance with your professor when you need advice or feedback on, say, a draft essay. You can email or call them and ask for a meeting when they have free time. This shows respect toward their time and avoids interrupting them so they can give undivided attention to you.
In addition to setting up a time slot with your professor ahead of time, it’s important to remember to give yourself adequate time for this appointment. If you schedule an hour-long meeting but only show up five minutes beforehand, it can be very inconsiderate of your professor’s time. While at it, remember that you can use the help of a professional paper writing service when you find yourself unable to keep up with the demands of college life.
Don’t Ask Questions You Can Answer
With an invaluable resource like the internet, finding answers to your questions is as easy as typing them into the search bar. A professor isn’t expecting you to know everything, and even though they might seem intimidating, most professors expect their students to take an active role in their education.
For instance, you can find most essay guidelines by typing “write an essay for me by Domyessay” on your search box. If the question is more about understanding things in general, then you can probably find what you’re looking for by simply typing in ‘how to’ or ‘why.’ If that doesn’t work, there are plenty of forums online where other students ask questions and get answers.
Approach Your Professor with a Positive Attitude
Surprisingly, many students hold misconceptions about professors. Some think that all professors hold a subconscious bias against students and under-appreciate those who haven’t been able to procure the necessary skills to succeed in their classes. Others assume that because professors have lots of responsibilities, they don’t care about their students.
In reality, though, most professors are very caring and know precisely how it feels to be a student. They also know that their job is challenging, and being an effective professor requires a good rapport with students. So when you’re going up to your professor’s office or sending them an email or calling them on the phone, take a decidedly optimistic approach toward them.
Keep Emails Brief and Courteous
Professors often receive large numbers of emails from students daily – with that in mind, keep your messages brief. Longer messages are more likely to get buried under other emails amidst piles of homework assignments and professional work.
And don’t forget – email is not the best method for getting actual feedback on coursework, so if necessary, ask in person or during office hours.
Have an Agenda
A professor’s job can be quite demanding. If you want your professor’s attention, make it easier for them to help you by preparing what to say in advance. Some of the most common reasons students approach professors are:
- To ask for letters of recommendation;
- To discuss academic issues surrounding coursework;
- To request extensions on assignments;
- To raise grading issues.
Knowing what you want ahead of time makes it easier to have a structured conversation to get you the results you need. If your professor can’t meet all your requests, make sure you have their email or office hours so that they can get back to you with a response.
Be Prepared for the Worst-Case Scenario
Unfortunately, not everyone is going to be successful when talking with a professor. If your conversation doesn’t go as planned and the result isn’t what you want, ask yourself why this happened. Was it because of something specific from the conversation? Or was it something else?
Understanding how it went wrong will help better prepare you next time around so that you don’t fall into the same trap again. But if nothing seems to work out at all, there are still ways of solving your problem without interacting directly with your professor. Look through other resources on campus.
Whether you feel aggrieved or believe your professor has been unfair to you, keep in mind that they’re still your professor. Being disrespectful toward them won’t do you any good. Furthermore, it will only make things difficult for you as a student and hinder your growth as an individual.
Never resort to shouting at or using profanities against your professor. You might feel that you can let off steam this way, and it’s a good idea in the heat of the moment, but remember: you will still have to face them afterward. Chances are they’ll think less of you as well and see you as unruly and immature. How would you like it if they similarly behaved toward you?
Breaking the ice is never easy, but it’s sure to be easier than ever with these tips. Your professors are human beings just like you, and they want your thoughts on their lectures or assignments. Show them that you care enough about what they say by taking a few minutes out of your day to talk to them. Who knows? You might end up making some great friends along the way.