Speaking With Your Professor

Successful students will tell you that it is important to get to know your professor. Professors will decide your grade and have the potential to be a valuable reference later on in your college and professional career.

Establishing the foundation of the relation is important from day one of your class. After the first class, stay after and introduce yourself to the professor.

“Hello professor _(last name)_. My name is _(your name)_. I just wanted to introduce myself and let you know that I am really looking forward to this class.”

Arrange a Meeting

If you are going to miss a class period, have a question about homework or a test, or would like to discuss something with your professor, you should arrange a time to meet.

Do your best to meet with your professor during their arranged office hours. These hours can usually be found on your class syllabus. If you are unable to visit with your professor during the posted office hours, call or email your professor to arrange a time that will work for both of you.

Dropping in unannounced may be seen as rude by your professor.

At the Meeting

Be sure to show up on time. If you are running late or unable to make the appointment, let your professor know.

When meeting with your professors for the first time, be sure to ask them how they would like you to address them. Not all professors have PhD’s, others may prefer to called by professor or by their first name.

Come prepared to the meeting with specific topics or questions to discuss. Examples include:

  • “While working on the homework, I keep getting stuck on problem 12. Here are my notes, can you show me what I am doing wrong?”
  • “I will be missing class on Monday and Tuesday for a conference, what can I do to make sure I’m caught up in the class?”
  • “I’m really interested in the topic of Thursday’s class discussion, can you point me towards any additional reading on the topic?”
  • “I studied a lot for last week’s test but only got a C. I’m worried about my grade, is there anything I can do to improve my scores?”
  • "I'm working hard to take good notes in the class, but sometimes you speak really fast, would it be possible for you to slow down, or pause for questions, or for you to record your Zoom lecture during class so I could listen again?"
  • "I'm trying to block out my study time based on scheduled assignments. You've changed due dates several times and this is making it hard for me to stay on top of things. Could you provide an updated syllabus with your changed due dates?"

Connecting with your instructor in Blackboard


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