Working with Your College Teachers

You can do a few simple things to improve relations between you and your teachers:

  • Come to class regularly and on time.
  • Take advantage of office hours and see instructors when appropriate.
  • Realize that instructors are not people to be avoided at all costs, and that you will not be criticized by your peers if you are seen talking with them.
  • Use their office hours to get to know your instructors.
  • Read the assigned materials before class.
  • Ask questions.
  • Sit near the front of the class. A number of studies have shown that students who do so tend to make better grades.
  • Never talk or whisper while the instructor is lecturing. They may interpret this as an uncaring or even rude gesture.
  • Don't hand your instructors "phony baloney" excuses. They have been hearing it for years, and may spot a lie a mile away. If you are sincere and give honest reasons for missing class or work, they are more likely to try and work around some rules for you.

Instructors may do things your high school teachers never did, such as:photo of teacher in front of class

  • Supplementing textbook assignments with other information.
  • Giving exams covering both assigned readings and lectures.
  • Questioning conclusions of other scholars.
  • Accepting several different student opinions on a question.
  • Never checking to see if you are taking notes or reading the text.
  • Demanding more reading of you in a shorter period of time.
  • Giving fewer quizzes or many more quizzes.
Last Modified: 8/2/21