Why You Should Get to Know Your College Professors and How to Do So
By: Kelly Solana
Getting to know your college professors is a good way to leave a lasting impression on them. Whether you take your classes online or attend a traditional brick and mortar school, getting to know your professors and making an effort to interact with them can usually be beneficial to you. Professors like students that show interest in what they are teaching and those that care enough to ask questions and seek help out of class discussions about a class lecture, an assignment, or material being covered in class. While professors may seem intimidating, it is important to remember that professors got to their positions because they care to teach and interact with students.
Regardless of how intimidating a professor may seem, chances are your professor will be just as pleased to meet and interact with you as you are with them. Reaching out and interacting will show your professor your interest and enthusiasm for the course, which they will appreciate. Getting to know your professors means that you won’t be shy or intimated to speak up and ask him or her questions which will ultimately assist you when you need help with understanding material. It is also a good way to ask for recommended additional readings and they will be able to assist you should you need help with coming up with a topic for a research paper or assignment. Getting to know your professors is also beneficial because they can write letters of recommendation for you later when you need them for graduate school, an internship, or a job and they may be able to provide some great networking opportunities for you as well.
Making a good impression on your professors will start with going to class everyday, according to Kelci Lynn, who has nearly ten years of full-time experience working with and at colleges in a number of positions. Lynn also advises that students turn in their work on time, as turning in your work late or asking for extensions frequently will not leave a good impression of you. A good way to get a professor to know you is to engage in class often and to ask questions and contribute to what your professor is talking about. Online students can also interact with their professors through email, online discussions, and online chat forums. Actually making the effort to stop by your professors office out of class or communicate with them through email if you take online classes is probably the best way to show a professor that you care about his or her class and that you are interested in it. Lynn recommends that students contact their professors to ask for help on a homework assignment, research paper, opinion on your work or a topic you have chosen for an assignment, or to talk about material the professor has covered through lecture.
If you know your professor will be speaking at an event or hosting some sort of a conference or lecture, try to attend the event and stay afterward to make a comment about his or her performance or ask a question about the speech. These are all easy and harmless ways to get to know your professor so that they may be valuable to you in the long run.