After seeing your professors at DayGlow or seeing them browsing the romantic novel section in CVS (awk), wouldn’t you be at a loss for how to handle seeing them in your next lecture or discussion?
Possibly, but because that rarely happens there is still the everyday question of how we relate to them.
Fear not, Hoyas!
As a connoisseur of all things awkward, I have come up with a system to help you navigate the waters of professordom.
Relating to your professor or TA is easier than you think!
Important things to remember:
1. They are humans too (even if you’re sure you saw them twitch when they spilled coffee on themselves that one time). Nobody’s perfect (cue Hannah Montana), and if you’ll remember that when you’re dealing with a tough situation, you will always have a better perspective.
2. Communication is key. We all have times when we would rather not talk to our professor or TA about an issue. The type of issue does not matter, but rather the openness of conversation. It is always better to be transparent with your professors, and they will appreciate your maturity for communicating openly.
3. Staying on top of your game is a great way to strengthen your relationship with a professor. Often, it’s not the most desirable way to relate to your professors, but you will get major brownie points if you show up for class prepared, on time, and with a good attitude. If you don’t like the subject, try to keep an open mind! Your professor will see your willingness to learn and be impressed.
4. Go. To. Office. Hours.
This point cannot be stressed enough. Even if all you do is ask your professor about their research or education, you will immediately gain their respect. As I am sure you have noticed, professors love to talk about themselves. So why not use that to your advantage? Just schedule an appointment or drop in for office hours. You will be glad you did—and hey! They may even start to recognize you in class.
Photo Cred: http://mytwopennies.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/ben.jpg