Having an open and positive line of communication with your teacher or professor will only help you do well in class. Although all instructors have different personalities and expectations, there are some general guidelines you can follow in order to establish a positive relationship with your instructor.
All teachers like when their students are excited to learn, and when they are interested in the classroom material. You can show your enthusiasm by taking part in classroom discussions and by asking well-thought out questions. When students show genuine interest, professors will most likely be more willing to talk, meet with, and address any concerns the student may have.
In life, you are not going to like everyone. The same goes for your professors. You will probably have at least one teacher in your academic career whom you do not like for one reason or another. However, your success in the class is not based on your teacher’s performance; it is based on your performance. When you approach the instructor for help or guidance, do not complain or criticize about how he or she teaches. Instead, be prepared to discuss the classroom material.
Another way to establish a positive relationship with your instructor is to listen when the teacher talks about himself or herself. Make sure you know the instructor’s name, and that you call him or her by it when you speak with the teacher. Knowing about the teacher’s interests will help you get to know him or her more in depth, which is the basis for an effective professional relationship.
At the beginning of the course, ask the teacher to set up a meeting. Here is your chance to introduce yourself, which is important (especially in large classes) so that you do not blend in with the sea of faces sitting in the classroom. Tell the professor that you are excited to learn the material and that you are looking forward to working with the teacher for the term. During the course of the term, if you have a problem or concern, immediately bring it to the teacher’s attention. Do not, however, give orders to the professor about what you want or expect. Instead, have questions that get to the heart of the problem ready to ask the teacher. If you find that you are wrong or have made a mistake, sincerely apologize. We all make mistakes, but how you handle it will affect how the teacher views you.
Last but not least, be prepared for every single class. This includes being prepared for class with your textbook, notes, homework, and other materials. Be on time to class and hand in all assignments on time throughout the term of the class. By following these simple guidelines, you will be able to establish a positive working relationship with your professor.