How to Approach Your Professor

by A Guest Author

Many students are intimidated at the thought of speaking to their college professor. This is an understandable emotion, since teachers have authority, are often highly skilled and sometimes, the topic you have to approach them for isn't good news.

However, there are a few things you can do to quell your fears and communicate well with your professors. Here are a few pointers.

Know Your Goal

What is your goal in speaking with your professor? Do you need clarification on an assignment? Are you looking for ways to bring your grade up? Knowing what your goal is, and then keeping that in mind during your conversation will ensure that you leave your teacher's office satisfied. Prevent the frustrating feeling of leaving without an answer or leaving just as confused as when you came by keeping your eye on your goal.

Be Teachable

Professors are there to teach. That means they value students who want to learn and who show they are teachable. No matter what has brought you to your teacher's office, good or bad, be teachable. Be humble and willing to listen and you will impress your professor. You'll also be more likely to get the help you need.

Talk Plainly

Remember, your teacher may have all kinds of credentials and a big name, but in the end, he or she is just another person. Be calm and approach your teacher respectfully, but in the same way you would approach someone else. Most teachers are understanding and willing to work with you if you are open and honest.

Be Willing to Compromise

At the end of the day, your professor has the final say. If you are hoping to raise your grade or extend a deadline, keep in mind that the decision is entirely up to your teacher. If you show that you are willing to compromise (say, do some extra work, or maybe not push that deadline quite as far back), you will be much more likely to get positive results.

Keep Their Schedule

One of the biggest things you can do to add to your teacher-student communication skills is work with your teacher on her timeline. She probably has office hours as well as multiple classes and other responsibilities. Be wiling to move your schedule around as needed to accommodate her.

Talking to your professor doesn't have to be a terrifying experience. In fact, with these tips in mind, communicating with your professors can quickly become one of the best things you can do for your grades.

About the Author

Jill Hardy writes for, a website that is geared toward helping future students enroll in online degree programs.

This post was written by A Guest Author

This post was written by a guest author. If you have high quality, useful information to share with students, send us an email or click Write For Us to learn more. And in case you're wondering - yes, you can promote yourself in this fancy author byline.

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