Why Is It Important for Students to Know How to Talk to Professors
The first recommendation is to get to know your professors. Remember that they are people who experience the same issues and emotions as anyone else. If you feel scared or confused, you will not set proper communication, especially if you need some academic help, a favor, or a second chance to pass a test. Treat them as respectfully and politely as you would treat other people in your surroundings, and everything will be OK.
This article gives some helpful tips on how to deal with such academic communication and not experience stress or feel uneasy.
What You Need to Know While Asking for a Favor
You do not need to do anything special beyond common sense when asking for a favor or help. Remember these simple things, and everything will go smoothly.
Right Titles to Address Professors
You should be attentive here. When you address someone as ‘Doctor,’ you should be sure that this person is a Ph.D. Addressing them as ‘Professor,’ if you are not sure, is more appropriate.
Some professors may prefer to be called by their first names. However, they will tell students about this preference. If they say nothing, it is better not. You can also use ‘Mr.’ or ‘Ms.’, but remember to never say ‘Mrs.’ because this address is for married women. Not all your teachers are married, and they may not even want to, so they will feel upset or offended.
Honesty Is the Best Policy
You may not know how many funny stories about students’ excuses professors share in the teachers’ offices. They have heard a lot of them for several semesters or years of their work. So, they tend not to trust any of them.
Actually, teachers usually take all kinds of excuses suspiciously. Moreover, they do not respect students who always make excuses, and you cannot expect positive test results if you always play tricks on your professor. If you believe that you need to tell lies, make it a big joke that is obvious to everyone, and then tell the truth. Your professor usually has a good sense of humor, and you may be laughing together.
Prepare for Hard Work
You may have missed several classes, failed to do an assignment properly, or completely fallen behind the class. You need extra help and some more time to cope with your issues. Get prepared to work hard if you ask your professor to do you a favor. Never expect that your instructor will tell you that they will give you good points anyway. You need to prove that you will do all the work properly.
Explain What You Want Clearly
When you have an appointment with your professor about the missed assignment, do not start with your biography, family problems, the need to help your friend, and a lot of other blah-blah-blah for 10 or more minutes. Your professor’s time is precious, so ask them, ‘What can I do about my missed assignment?’, and that will be enough.
Arrange a Social Call and Have a Substantial Talk
Social calls are something that your professor is used to when they are in their office. They are a part of your school policy. In addition, professors love talking with their students. The truth is that students avoid visiting the office, and the teachers spend long hours playing Minecraft or communicating on social networks.
Pay a visit or two to your professor, even if you do not have severe issues, just talk about your interests, academic expectations, or study difficulties. However, remember that your teacher is not a therapist, so they may not provide you with advice for every situation or case. You will build up good relationships, which you may need a few years later when you come for a positive reference letter.
Avoid Flirting Under Any Circumstances
Favoritism is not common at colleges anymore, and the slightest sign of it may ruin your professor’s career. That is why check twice whether your behavior resembles personal relationships. Any sign of flirtation on your part will be met negatively because no one would like to risk their job and reputation.
Attention! Your relationships with your professors can be friendly but not intimate. Don’t make crushes on them. A teacher that seems so intriguing at the lecture usually turns out to be a common person outside the class with all their faults and issues. The intrigue fades soon because all crushes pass sooner or later.
Many students believe that they are grown-up enough to make their decisions about personal relationships. They are right in a way. However, remember that your adulthood should have serious grounds not to expect a romantic response from your teacher who is hardworking, respectable, authoritative, and does not want to lose the job because of someone’s desires and plans.
Your behavior is not too responsible in such cases, even if the professor slips up. You do not know why you have achieved this doubtful success. Maybe, your professor is having harsh times, has just survived a painful divorce, broken up with a boy/girlfriend, is worried about someone’s health problems in their family.
Whatever the circumstances may be, your teacher may be looking for someone who can diminish their pain but not an object for serious relationships. None of them is ready to sacrifice their career and reputation that were so hard to build.
Disappointment Is Always Expected
Remember that your professor may not want to arrange another make-up test for you only because you fail to keep to the schedule. You may think it is unfair, but it may not technically be possible because of the lack of time. Your teacher might have spent long hours creating their syllabus, developing tasks and tests, and inventing ways to explain the material to students. And here you come with your request for another chance only because you do not want to follow the rules and instructions.
Do not try to bend the academic rules for yourself. Believe it or not, it is always frustrating for a teacher to read an assignment that was due several weeks ago or find time for another test you ask them for in their tight schedule. That explains why professors hate students who do not do their assignments on time.
Instead, you can try to learn a lesson from your failure, decide what you can do so that the situation will not repeat, and ask your teacher straightforwardly if you can continue with the syllabus. If not, start the course again and try to do it properly.
It is the worst thing you can do. Professors encounter a lot of threats in their careers imposed by lawsuits. Do not make things worse by the threats of physical violence if things are not going as you would like them to.
Apparently, professors will not be happy about your threats and will find ways to punish you. Even if you threaten to make a claim to their department or superiors about their improper treating you, you need to know that good teachers have already established stable relationships with their authorities, and are respected by them. They know what to do with all the baseless accusations. You will not go too far in your academic career if you start with threats. Your professor will not help you in trouble anymore, so you may entirely fail in your studies.
As you see, most professors will be kind to you if you treat them honestly and with respect. They never want to make their students’ life a nightmare, not intendedly. Most teachers choose this career because they are passionate about their field of study and want to share their knowledge with others. That is why they also respect your commitment, deep interest, curiosity, and diligence.
Your professors will do their best to help you if you experience difficulties, but only if you honestly admit to having them. However, if you prefer to game the system and avoid responsibility, you cannot hope for good results and for help on the part of your teachers, anyway.