Building student-teacher relationships

Photo by Eric James Sarmiento, via flickr

Adrianne Richardson/Contributing Writer

Building a relationship with the professor is the least of our worries; most of us don’t even think about it – we just want the grade.

If the class is lecture style, more than likely, there are about 100 plus students in attendance for the class. Having had experience in a class such as this, I know that most of the students only show up on exam days and barely know their professor. Others, like me, make the effort to come to class and may end up dozing off from time to time because of the night before.

Well, what if I told you that building a student-teacher relationship can actually help your grade? Would you attempt to build relationships then?

Some advantages of making the effort to build a relationship with your professor would be having a heads up about what will be on quizzes, leniency towards you and your assignments and sometimes tips about how to improve if you are not doing so well in the class.

With this extra help, you can improve your grade and your GPA all through building a relationship.

I am not saying that every professor will do this because some professors are not willing to deal with students on a more social level; they are strictly “the professor,” which is understandable. But there are more that are willing to help you than those that are not.

Some ways to start building is through office hours, email, and in-class participation. Also, your seat in class speaks volumes about you as a student. If you sit near the front, then your professor can make eye contact and recognize your face versus someone who sits in the back.

Personally, I remember struggling in my Algebra class and not knowing what to do. MyLabsPlus calculates everything and my grade was already a C-. I knew I needed help but pride got in the way.

Eventually, after talking it over with my parents, I approached my instructor and let her know that I was struggling and needed help. She told me about her office hours and how she would be more than happy to go over the material with me.

Through this, our relationship became a more personal one, and she was extra careful when reviewing and putting in participation grades so she wouldn’t make any mistakes. She always gave me updates and it’s because of this I can honestly say I passed the class.

Student-teacher relationships can make or break you; you have to learn to use your resources as a student and only practice makes perfect. Observe and pay close attention in class. If you don’t have a question to ask them, then make up one! There is no harm in that. Trust me, the more interest you show in the subject, the more attention your professor will show towards you, whether they realize it or not.

I strongly believe that you need others to help you succeed, and professors are definitely an important figure in educational success at a University. Please adhere to the advice given and begin to view your professors as tools for success.

Who doesn’t want to succeed?

Thank me later. 

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