5 Simple Ways To Get Noticed By Your College Professor

Forming a relationship with a professor can prove to be truly rewarding for a student. In addition to helping to improve class performance, getting to know a professor can help with things down the road like recommendation letters, job opportunities, and even just general advice. Here are some ways to make yourself stand out to a professor.

Participate 

Professors appreciate students that are involved and engaged in class. While many students are preoccupied with Facebook, Pinterest, playing Angry Birds, or just not paying attention, it is the active students that will gain the most from class. Not only will participating in class reflect favorably upon you in the eyes of your professor, but it also will help you learn the material better, so don’t be afraid to raise your hand and speak up.

Not sure if the professor with agree with what you have to say? Don’t worry about if what you’re saying is right or wrong in your professor’s eyes, he or she will simply appreciate the fact that you participated. So answer questions, respond to comments that others make, and generally stay engaged during class. Trust me, it will go a long way.

Ask Questions

Ever heard your mom say “no question is a dumb question?” Well, college is the perfect time to apply that principle. If you don’t understand something during class, ask! Nine times out of ten, there’s at least one other person in the class who didn’t understand it either. So do both of you a favor and ask the professor to clarify. Asking questions during class will not only ensure that you understand the material, but it also demonstrate to the professor that you’re paying attention. A thoughtful, well-delivered question will go a long way in earning your professor’s respect.

Attend Office Hours

All professors are required to allocate office hours for each of their classes. Office hours are a designated time and place that the professor will be available for his/her students to come and ask questions or talk about classroom material. Attending these office hours is a great way to get to know your professor on a more personal level. When you arrive at your professor’s office, it is normally a good idea to have questions written down or a specific topic in mind that you would like to discuss. Your professor will be impressed that you respect his or her time enough to come prepared.

Out-of-class Opportunities 

Don’t feel like you have to contain your engagement with a professor or a class just to the classroom. There are a lot of opportunities outside of the classroom you can get involved with. Professors will often inform their classes of speakers, presentations, film screenings, or other out of class opportunities that are going on at your university. These can be great opportunities for extra credit, but can also show your professor that you are truly interested in the subject.

Communicate via Email

If you find yourself really busy, or attending office hours conflicts with your schedule, emailing your professors is a good way to get in touch with them. When you send them an email, make sure you send it with all of the pertinent information. Professors’ inboxes are flooded by dozens of student inquiries each day, so to ensure your email gets read, you should include the following information in the subject line:

  • Name: Jane Doe
  • Class: PSY 101
  • Nature of Email: Final Research Paper

So your subject line might look something like this:

  • PSY 101 Final Research Paper – Jane Doe

This way, when your professor is ready to check his or her email for the day, they already know who you are, what class you’re in, and what the email is regarding.

In the body of your email,  be polite and professional. Also, be sure to begin each message with a greeting and conclude with a farewell statement. Professors appreciate good email etiquette, and will most likely get back to you with a prompt and helpful response if you approach them in a respectful manner.

Following these 5 simple strategies will make you the apple of your professor’s eye. Forming a good relationship with your professor can help enhance your class performance, as well as possibly benefit the rest of your college career.

So go ahead, get to know your professor!  You might just be surprised at how glad you are that you did.

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Mallory Londeck

Mallory Londeck

Mallory Londeck is a senior at Michigan State University double majoring in journalism and media & information. As a proud Spartan, Mallory is involved in many organizations on campus including the student radio station, campus tours, and university activities board. Outside of MSU, Mallory enjoys reading, writing, and watching movies. A self proclaimed “pop-culture fanatic,” she is always up-to-date on the latest entertainment news. She also enjoys playing Frisbee, volleyball, and snowboarding in her spare time.
Mallory Londeck

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