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Guideline: Approaching a Professor

How to Approach

Of course, many students experience discomfort when there is a need to approach a professor and have a conversation with him/her. Sometimes, it is the matter of subordination when a student feels awkward to talk to the instructor about the course. Also, some students are scared to seem stupid when asking the professor unwise questions. If you also belong to those who are looking for the best way to approach the professor, here are points to consider.

Talking to your professor: a simple guide

1.Pluck up the courage. Even if you have a phobia of meeting with your professor, do not deprive yourself of a chance to talk to him/her. Be courageous and overcome your fear. Even though your professor is an experienced and honored person, speaking with him/her should be interesting, not intimidating.

2. Remember that it is a professor’s duty to answer your questions. There is nothing wrong in realizing the fact that you may not know something and need some clarifications. The professor is hired to help you gain the knowledge, and it is impossible to have without asking questions.

3. Do not be afraid of asking dumb questions. If your fear of approaching the professor is based on the phobia to ask him/her a stupid question, get rid of this feeling. It is wrong to assume that some questions are stupid, especially when you are just starting the course.

4. Visit the professor during his/her office hours only. Although it is a duty of your professor to help you with your course matters, do not disturb him/her out of the office hours. Check your syllabus for this data or make an appointment with the professor beforehand.

5. Do not waste the professor’s time. When you make a visit to your professor, it automatically means you have some questions about the course. Do not open his/her office door if you do not need a piece of advice. Also, do not waste the instructor’s time talking about unrelated things.

6. Prepare beforehand. When you made an appointment with the professor during his office hours, you will have some time to prepare for the meeting. So make the list of questions you need to clarify. They may come from:

• A lecture. Lectures are usually filled with new information. Detect the ideas that are not clear and ask about them.

• A textbook or assigned reading. You may also ask about the ways to better understand the material provided in the course book or assigned reading.

• An assignment. Very often, students are given confusing tasks, so do not hesitate to contact the professor for clarifications. Especially when your grade depends on it.

So, now you are prepared to meet your professor. Pluck up the courage and simply do it. Your conversation may be not only informative but also interesting for both parties.

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