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Success at University and Getting Your Professor to Notice You

Student maximizing success at university talking to professor Most people’s success at university (academically speaking) comes down to two things: how much work they put in, and how well their professor knows them. You certainly don’t want to be known for being a loudmouth, or disruptive, or obnoxious. But there are things you can do (some subtle, and some much more direct) to form at least a first-name-basis relationship with your professors – even in a big lecture.

The fact of the matter is, to most of your professors, especially ones who have been teaching the same course for a number of years, you are invisible, or at best, a number. Many earnest professors will make sincere efforts to learn the names of all the students in a smaller class, but you cannot expect one person to remember the names of all the students in a 200-person lecture. For those students who are on a first-name basis with their professors (in a positive way), there are some pretty large benefits. Below are some tips for getting to know your professor, and why it pays to do so.

Use office hours and increase your chances of success at university

While it is clearly not the case that all university professors will respond to your use of their office hours with better grades, and access to useful, privileged information, many will. Some, in fact, are on record saying exactly that. It makes sense that you should receive special treatment if you attend a one-on-one conversation (which also normally doubles as a study session) with your professor.

In the classroom setting, it is very difficult, or next-to-impossible for a professor to give any one student their undivided attention, and if you have something pressing to talk about in-depth, you are better off trying to discuss it outside the classroom. Interacting with your professors outside of the classroom also provides you with an opportunity to get to know them on a more personal level. Most professors will try to maintain a level of professional, courteous detachment from their students to avoid any conflicts of interest, but that doesn’t mean they can’t like certain students more or less. It’s just human nature.

Ask questions in class

It is important to stress that you can ask questions without being a loudmouth or a frequent disrupter. Ask questions if you truly don’t understand something and are seeking clarification. Do not interrupt a lecture to provide your unsolicited personal opinion on something, to hear the sound of your own voice, to try and show other students you are the smartest person in the room, or to contradict the professor or another student when you aren’t sure whether you are right.

You can, however, get a reputation among your professors (and your fellow students) for asking pointed, insightful, clarifying questions. At the end of the day, it is really only important that your professor hear and respond to your question, so you might even decide to wait until the end of the lecture to approach your professor with your quirie. Asking good questions lets your professor know that you are paying attention, seriously engaging with the material, and when they eventually learn your name, it will definitely stand out when they are marking your papers and exams, and that could lead to additional success at university.

Read about the work they have done

Many, or most of your professors will likely have spent a considerable amount of their academic career either doing research, working in the private, or public (or both) sectors, and perhaps winning accolades and recognition for their contribution to human knowledge and scholarship along the way. It is a good idea to find out more about who your professors really are. Taking an interest in them as both people and professionals, especially if you are doing so during office hours, is a good way to develop a more informal relationship with them.

You might also consider working some of their previous scholarship into an essay you are writing for their course. Use a piece of work or scholarship they have done in the past as one of your references and, better yet, critically engage with it while you are using it. Ask a question of it; come up with your own take on something they have worked on, or a question they have posed; professionally, but critically engage with things they have worked on to show them you are serious about the scholarship and course material.

Student-professor relationships can aid attrition

There is quite a large body of research suggesting that when students and faculty form meaningful relationships (both friendly and professional), students are more likely to want to perform and learn the material, and are even more likely to persevere and complete their university degree. The way you feel about your professor has a large impact on how well to do in their class, and intent is everything.

If you decide that you want to do well at something, the chances that you will do well increases. We are hostage to our own psyches much of the time, and once we have decided that we don’t care, or that something is not worthwhile, or worth our time, it is much easier to simply check out than it is to stick it out. If you find yourself in a position where you have lost all hope in a course, or you think that failing is a foregone conclusion, there are essay writing services out there that can help with whatever coursework you are struggling with, or struggling to find the time to do.

Human connection is everything, and we rely on our fellow human beings for help, guidance, and helping us get through life. The old adage “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” while not absolutely true, is certainly a recurring theme in many aspects of life. University is no different. Keep the above information in mind to maximize your chances of success at university, and for anything essay or assignment-related, get in touch with Homework Help Global.

References:

Potts, G. (2016). “4 easy ways to get better grades in courses, as told by a professor.” Elite Daily. Retrieved from: https://www.elitedaily.com/life/better-grades-college-professor/1577473

Weimer, M. (2013). “Are student-professor relationships more important in hard courses?” Faculty Focus. Retrieved from: https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-and-learning/are-student-professor-relationships-more-important-in-hard-courses/

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