Five Things Every Student Should Know about Professors

Professors can become good friends and mentors, but they often initially are intimidating to college students. Professors are not the cold and unreachable caricatures portrayed by the media, though. Students who make the effort to understand what's being asked of them in class and have positive relationships with their professors are successful in college and beyond. Here are five things all students should know about professors in order to build solid relationships with them.

  1. Professors Love Their Fields Whether the class is a university requirement, an elective, or a course within a student's major, it is essential to understand that each professor loves the topic for write my college essay. A student may find a required course uninteresting, but it would be wise to understand that the professor has a passion for the field. Students should avoid making negative comments about the subject and instead try to see what makes the field so compelling to the instructor.

  2. Professors Have Chosen to Teach Most college professors hold doctorate degrees in their field. They have completed years of graduate work, and instead of going into another career, they have chosen to teach. Most professors are interested in helping students learn and are interested in pursuing further research. Student should avoid comments about how teaching is a waste of time or how making money in the private sector is the only smart approach.

  3. Professors Believe Their Material Is Interesting Even the most boring professor who drones on and on in a monotonous way believes that his material is interesting. Students will be wise not to show boredom: This means no sleeping in class, yawning, playing games on their computers rather than taking notes, or carrying on side conversations during lecture time. Professors do notice who is paying attention and who is not.

  4. Professors Are Available to Help All college professors hold office hours—designated times during each week when they are available to answer students' questions. Professors are required by their college or university to be accessible to students, and they usually are eager to help. Students should take advantage of this opportunity and stop by professors' offices during office hours with questions. Getting the professor's opinion on a research project, finding out more about a confusing part of the reading, or simply talking about possibilities for future coursework can give a student an academic advantage.

  5. Professors Can Be Great References or Mentors Some students have difficulty seeing the long-term benefits from developing ongoing relationships with professors. Positive academic relationships with instructors have the potential to lead to recommendations, internships, or even jobs in the future. Professors have many connections in their fields and can use these to benefit promising students.

By understanding more about professors, students can do better in class and potentially develop lasting academic relationships that lead to internships or future employment. Unfortunately, some students don't take time or make the effort. Particularly within their major, students should get to know their professors, both in and out of class. Asking insightful questions, attending office hours, and expressing academic interests give students many opportunities to begin building positive relationships with their professors.