Students: Professors as a Resource

by Texas State SLAC

Senior professor discusses an issue with a student

It can be difficult to converse with professors before or after class. There may be too little time because the professor may have to go to another building, or another class may be waiting outside. That’s why professors designate office hours to meet students outside of classes. Yet many professors say few students use this time. Take advantage of their willingness to help. Your professor may be formal in class yet friendly and approachable one-to-one.

  • Be brave! Knock on the door; even if it’s closed and a professor’s back is to the door, knock—politely.
  • Don’t worry about appearing “stupid.” Professors hold office hours to help students.
  • Come with a goal or question and bring the necessary materials. If you have a question about a reading, bring your book with the passage marked.
  • Ask your professor to help analyze your errors if you didn’t do well on a paper/exam, especially after the first one is graded.
  • Remember that professors enjoy discussing the content of their courses. This is what they teach, read, research and write about.
  • Consider introducing yourself to your professor if your class is large.

If you can’t make office hours, call or e-mail your question or schedule a time to come by—then be there! Professors have e-mail addresses and voice mail listed on the syllabus and with the department office. Whether you visit during office hours, by phone or e-mail, your professors will notice your initiative and interest.

Original source: Sharon Green, Office of Academic Support, Niagara University

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