How to Build Positive Relationships With Your College Professors

Teachers and Students

You may not realize it during your freshman or sophomore year of college, but by the time you start thinking about graduation, you are going to recognize the value of developing positive relationships with your professors. Not only do you need a few letters of recommendation if you want to enroll in graduate school or get a decent job after college, but you want to see if any of your professors can actually refer you personally to any employers. Here is how to build positive relationships with your college professors.

Ask Questions in Class

The first thing you need to do if you want to earn the respect of your professors is to participate in class discussions. If you are doing all of your required reading and taking notes during every lecture, then you should have plenty of questions to ask. When you do ask questions, you want to be sure that you speak up, enunciate, and ask your questions in a very succinct way. If you are stuttering or saying “like” every third word, you will not make a good impression.

Submit Your Assignments on Time

One of the best ways to really develop a positive rapport with your professors is to always turn your assignments in on time, and always make sure that they are absolutely complete. It should be clear that you are always doing each assignment to the best of your ability, and your professors should see improvement in your work over time. It doesn’t matter how much work you have to do in a week, if you go to a top school like New England College, you will be expected to turn in all of your work, in full, on time – no matter what.

Attend Office Hours

You may notice that every professor lists their office hours on the syllabus, but how often do you actually visit your professors? If you’re like most college students, the answer is almost never. That’s why visiting your professors can really go such a long way. Whenever a student doesn’t perform well on an exam or an assignment, the most annoying excuse is that the student didn’t understand the prompt. To which almost every professor will ask, “why didn’t you come to my office hours?” Any time you need clarification on anything, take the opportunity to be enlightened by visiting your professor in their office.

Complete the Supplemental Reading

You may have a lot of reading to do already while you’re in college, but you shouldn’t underestimate the power of actually taking on the supplemental reading that is listed on your syllabus. If you do, you want to definitely make it a point to talk to your professor about it. It’s always great when you can demonstrate to your professor that you are not satisfied with the bare minimum – they want to see that going the distance is important to you.

Take an Interest in Their Outside Projects

There’s a good chance that most of your professors are very active in your community in some way or another. Every professor has to consistently get their work published, so the first place to start is to find some of their books or essays they have written. If they are a member of any kind of literary or artistic society, then you want to find out if they have any events where they present their work and make an effort to attend.