Why You Should Get To Know Your Professors

Does the thought of sitting down to lunch with one of your teachers disturb you?  Can you imagine building a long-lasting connection with your teachers?

Building a relationship with your teacher might seem a little weird in high school, but in college, where the barrier between the student and professor isn’t so pronounced, it can be invaluable.

You’ve probably heard the saying that it’s not what you know, but who you know.  Whether that holds true or not is up for debate, but there’s no denying that having connections helps you in the long-run.  Getting to know your professors is a great way to build a network that can help with future endeavors  whether they be employment opportunities, grad school applications, or anything in between

In having a rapport with your professor, you can even meet a long-time friend.  Professors tend to be interesting people and you’d certainly not be losing anything by getting to know one.

If you’re looking for ways to build a relationship with your professor, there are three tips that should get you on your way in no time.

Volunteer In Class

It can be easy to go unnoticed in college classes, especially at larger universities or in lectures.  If you want your professor to notice you and recognize your efforts, it’s a good idea to volunteer during class.

If raising your hand to answer a question in a lecture hall full of people seems daunting, don’t worry.  You can always talk to your professor before or after class if you have questions or need further explanation, they will be more than happy to help.

Participating during class is a win-win situation.  By participating in class discussion you are both deepening your understanding of subject matter and showing your professor that you care.

Get Involved Outside of Class

Learning doesn’t stop after class ends, so don’t be afraid to get involved outside of the classroom.

If you need extra help or advice, consider setting up a meeting during your professor’s office hours.  Once again, this will show that you care and it will contribute to your understanding of class material.

Many professors offer extra credit opportunities for attending relevant events or speeches outside of class.  If an opportunity like this arises, take it.  There’s nothing wrong with getting free points, and you’ll probably learn something from the experience.

Additionally, professors are usually more open and friendly outside of the classroom.  By being an active learner after class, you’ll both get the chance to learn more about each other.

Take Additional Courses

It’s not uncommon for professors to teach multiple classes.  If you find that your professor offers additional classes that are relevant to your studies, consider enrolling in some.

You’ll be more likely to succeed academically if you already know your professor’s teaching style.  If your professor knows who you are and recognizes your efforts, you’re more likely to be given the benefit of the doubt if you’re sitting on the border of an A at the end of the semester.

By taking additional courses, your professor will also be more familiar with your work.  This can come in handy if you ever need a letter of recommendation in the future (and you most likely will).

If you find yourself in a college classroom being taught something you’re interested in, going the extra distance to build a relationship with your professor is a great idea.  You just might meet one of the most interesting people you know, and you will see many benefits from the relationship.  So speak up in class, get involved out of class, and take as many courses as you can.

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John Rademaker

John Rademaker

John Rademaker is a junior at the University of Dayton pursuing a degree in Electronic Media. At school he enjoys playing guitar, watching movies, and working at the campus radio station. Away from school he can be found exploring his hometown, spending time with his family, and listening to music.
John Rademaker

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