Developing Good Relationships with Faculty
a.k.a. 12 Ways Not to Annoy Your Professors
- Know your professors’ names—and use them! Figure out the
appropriate title for your professor. If you don’t know what he or
she would like to be called, ask.
- Give your professor the best chance possible to know your name.
Introduce yourself after class or during office hours.
- Practice common sense classroom etiquette:
- Turn your cell phone off.
- Don’t put your head down on the desk.
- Don’t read a newspaper.
- Don’t do work for another class.
- Don’t talk to your neighbor during lecture, etc.
- Read and understand your entire syllabus. This is your first assignment
in every class.
- Go to every class, and be on time.
- When you are late or need to leave early, be as inconspicuous as
possible. Please don’t let the door slam behind you when you enter
- Read and come prepared to participate in class.
- Appreciate the fact that not all faculty members are the same.
- Be aware of your body language during class.
- As a general principle, professors enjoy questions, which demonstrate
that you are engaging with the material. That said, avoid the
- Don’t raise your hand and ask if you can go to the bathroom.
- Just go (and leave and return as quietly as possible, see above).
- Don’t ask, “Will this be on the exam?”
- And NEVER ask: “Did we do anything important last class?”
- Get over the fact that answering questions wasn’t the thing to do
in high school. If your professor asks a question to the class, volunteer
to answer (at least some of the time).
- Get to know at least some of your professors. Show an interest in
the course material. Go to your professor’s office hours, and if you
make an appointment, be sure to show up on time!