How to get in “good” with your professor

First of all this is not a thread about seducing your instructors. I wouldn’t suggest that, but honestly, it is one way to get in good with your professor.

In college—and in life— it’s about who you know. Professors, teaching assistants, graduate assistance and even visiting speakers can provide you a much more valuable networking contact than a teacher. College these days is about more than its educational value; because it seems that everyone is getting a Bachelor’s degree now. In order to succeed it is important for one to take advantage of the many trained professionals that usually teach university level classes. No matter how quirky your math 101 teacher is, he may be the reference that lands you your first job.

It is important to remember that professors are people too. They have emotions and can have bad days just like the rest of us. If you notice your instructor is having a hard time it wouldn’t hurt to “emotionally” pat them on the back with a “How’s everything going?” or the likes. Everyone can use a little pick me up sometimes and teachers are no different. Being nice and considerate can get you a long way not only in academics but also in life.

Your professors will also like you more if you show that you are highly interested in and dedicated to your education. Although instructors will get paid regardless if you paid attention in class or not, most enjoy students who are interested in learning their subject. If you are interactive in class it shows the professor that you value his efforts to bestow knowledge. Everyone likes to feel appreciated.

Contacting an instructor outside of class is almost always encouraged but it is amazing how few people take advantage of this opportunity. I realize that you are busy and have countless other things to do, but so does your professor. Grades are based on more than your performance on tests and assignments; there is a phantom area for involvement. There have been at least five different times when I got a better grade than my exams and projects displayed because I talked with my professors about my grade (or life, or both). Like I said it’s about who you know, not necessarily what you know. There is a bias towards involved students in academia, even if people don’t want to acknowledge it.

The simplest thing that my peers could do to get in their professor’s good graces is be punctual. You don’t like your time wasted, neither do teachers. Show some respect for the people that will train you to make a living out in the real world. Remember that you came to college to start your career— the diploma is only a piece of paper.

If you are able to get good with an instructor, remember to stay in touch. These are highly trained and usually well connected people; someway, somehow they can help you progress in life. You want to get to a professor level in life, don’t assume just because you are in college that you are equals.