Students often fail to remember that college professors have feelings too. It is very important to treat professors with respect. How your professor feels about you can influence how much time and effort they are willing to put into helping you with your course, along with how good of a recommendation they will write you for graduate school or a job. Most students forget to show professors their appreciation.
Here are simple ways you can show college professors your respect and appreciation:
- Come to class prepared. You will surely get on your professor’s good side if you do all your assignments prior to the class and show up fully prepared. If you are assigned reading, read. Don’t come to class pretending to have done all your reading because professors can very easily tell who’s telling the truth and who isn’t. Additionally, don’t be that student who always asks for extensions and turns in assignments late.
- Show up on time. One of the simplest ways to get your professor to like you is to just show up to class on time. Make that minimal effort of coming on time, rather than showing up late and distracting the rest of the students. Professors take tardiness into account, and not only will that make them dislike you, but it might also affect your evaluations and grades at the end of the year.
- Be attentive in class. There is nothing professors like more than students who look interested and engaged in class. Even though they might not say anything, professors notice students who look bored and who sit there yawning every five minutes. Even if you have a big class, professors will take note of you sneakily checking your phone and texting. If you simply look interested, and are actively taking notes, you will stand out from the rest. It’s not hard to impress professors, but be sure to show interest in the material that they are taking time to teach you.
- Participate in class. An easy way to make a good first impression on your professor is to volunteer. If your professor is figuring out presentation and/or debate schedules, volunteer and let your teacher know that you are brave enough to step up first. Also, try to regularly participate in class, whether that’s asking a question or merely making an observation. A word of caution though. Do not let this tip make you think that it’s okay to dominate every class discussion, or ask whatever question that comes to your mind. Behaviors such as these will not only bother your professor, but will also lead your fellow classmates to become frustrated with you.
- Don’t distract others. Class is not the best place to have conversations with friends. If you are unable to pay attention to the professor, don’t divert others. Professors expect college students to be responsible enough to pay attention in class without starting irrelevant conversations with other classmates, so don’t be that one immature student who gets on the professor’s bad side.
- Ask questions. Many professors stop their presentations and lectures to give students a chance to ask questions. Use that opportunity to give them some sort of response rather than sitting in silence. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a question; you can even make a comment and let your professor know that you are listening to the material that is being presented to you. Your professor will be more impressed if your question shows an understanding of something you learned in an earlier class or makes a connection with the assigned reading. These are ways to make an impression on your professors. Make sure you don’t ask pointless questions just for the sake of talking, because professors can see right through that.
- Make connections. Let your professors know if you find an article or an event that relates to whatever you are discussing in class. Bringing in a relevant report or article is the perfect way to get a token of appreciation from your professor. Doing this will let your professor know that you are paying attention in class and are genuinely interested in the subject matter. College professors love feeling like someone finds his or her course useful and interesting.
- Talk to the professor outside of class. Another way to earn your professor’s respect is by approaching them outside of class to talk about issues raised during class. The best time to continue conversations with professors is during office hours, but many professors will have time to chat before or after class. This is not only a good way to gain more knowledge on a topic but is also an excellent way to better your professor’s thoughts about you as a student. If you have a super busy schedule and can’t make time to meet your professor outside of class, an email following up with an interesting matter brought up in class can also do the trick.
So go ahead and show your professors your appreciation and respect.
Ria is currently a student at Sarah Lawrence College pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Writing and Sociology. She enjoys spending time with friends and family in her free time. She also has a bad habit of starting new tv shows at the most inconvenient times.