Meaningful Interactions: Why You Should be Building Bonds with Your Professors
In elementary and high school, forming bonds with teachers is something that happens simply due to smaller class sizes and time put in with these teachers on a daily basis. When you get to college or university however, forming these bonds with your professors becomes much more intimidating. With hundreds of classmates, what’s the point in reaching out to a professor who may not even know your name? Here is why you need to be building bonds with your professors.
1. Professors Are Smart
This one is a given, but professors are quite intelligent! If you’re spending thousands of hard-earned dollars on education, then shouldn’t you learn as much as you possibly can? Professors can offer a lot of insight into a wide variety of subjects. With many having Doctorate-level qualifications and authoring textbooks of their own, building a rapport with your professor presents the opportunity to learn more useful information from them.
2. Professors Control Your Grades
When a professor grades a student, they must judge work as fairly as possible. But, when taking into account other factors such as attendance and participation, professors really get the final say. If you don’t put in the effort to give thoughtful responses or you’re flat out rude to your instructor, it will be extremely easy for your professors to grade you as critically as possible. You catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar, so be sweet.
3. Professors Want to Help You
At the end of the day, professors are human just like the rest of us. They want jobs that are fulfilling and meaningful, so dealing with students that don’t act like they care is just disrespectful and discouraging. By putting in a bit of effort, you’ll receive effort in return. For example, if you make regular appointments during your professor’s office hours to go over concepts from their lecture and yet you still fail an assignment, your professor will likely be more inclined to give you a second chance to resubmit, versus a student who has never taken the time to ask any questions.
4. Professors Have Connections
When you think about it, this should really be an obvious point but for some reason, many students figure that professors can’t really help them outside of their education. If a professor is teaching a course within your major, they’re likely a leader in that field and have many, many connections to others in the same industry that you want to eventually work in. Rather than let this possible foot-in-the-door go to waste, leave a lasting impression on your professor so they will genuinely want to recommend you to their colleagues.
Forming bonds and making all interactions meaningful is a tough task that takes practice, but in the end, is completely worth it – especially if these bonds can be forged with your professors throughout your academic career. Want more tips on how to rule your school year? Check out our blog for more advice, fun facts, and guidance.
Moely, J. (2015, March 20). Writing the textbook: Why professors assign their own publications. Retrieved August 15, 2017, from http://www.thedp.com/article/2015/03/professors-assign-own-publications-as-class-readings