Things Professors Will Expect From You

Professors are your allies, not your adversaries. Although some professors just aren't cool, most of them are decent, reasonable people. If you show them respect, they will reciprocate. But there are certain attributes that you are expected to bring to the table.

Here are 10 things that your professors will expect from you:

1. Effort

Professors expect you to try and try hard. If you have issues understanding the material, they will do their best to accommodate your need for extra assistance. If you have an assignment that you cannot complete for whatever reason, you better put forward an effort, or your professor won't be pleased.

2. Honesty

Be frank with your professors. Don't make up nonsense, just stick to the facts. If you think your contrived excuse is original, remember that these people have heard every excuse in the book. They are going to know whether or not you are being forthright, so just stick to the truth. It's a whole lot easier anyway.

3. Enthusiasm for the subject matter

If you look bored or you're taking a nap, expect to be called out on it. Most professors put serious time and effort into crafting their lectures, and if you don't look like you want to be there, they will kindly ask you to leave.

4. Reading comprehension skills

Read the friggin' instructions before you ask questions. If you don't know what your supposed to do on your exam, try reading the top of the test before raising your hand. Nothing irks professors like students who are too lazy to read. So come to class prepared to discuss your readings, or don't go at all. 

5. Writing and communication skills

Professors don't want to translate your writing. They don't want to have to hire a cryptologist to decipher your blue book. Use proper grammar, and structure your essays in a clear, well-organized manner. Speak clearly and concisely in class. Don't ramble or get too preachy. Think about your point and express it in a way that's easy to understand.

6. Advance warning of drama and dramatic circumstances

If you have a dramatic situation that needs to be brought to the attention of the professor, do everyone a favor, and discus it in private, after or outside of class. If you plan on turning a paper in late, tell you professor before the actual due date. Professors will work with you, but not if you ask to be an exception in front of an entire class who just turned in all their work on time. Use tact and foresight in these situations, and professors will respond to your requests for help.  

7. Maturity

Professors will expect you to be mature. If the subject matter is sensitive, you better act like an adult. Don't laugh when it's not called for and don't do childish things like throw food at your classmates. Professors aren't there to baby sit you, so if you're a disruption, you'll be asked to leave.  

8. Courtesy, sensitivity and respect

Don't belittle the opinions of others no matter how outlandish and ridiculous these opinions may be. Respect your colleagues and be sensitive to their own pace of individual educational development. Your job is to learn the material, not teach the class or set the record straight for your classmates. Just handle you own business and be polite. 

9. Attendance

Professors expect you to show up (some more than others of course). If you don't plan on attending a particular class, then don't enroll in it. If you need scheduling relief, and you just know that you won't be making it to class that often, then take a survey course in a large lecture hall.

10. Ask Questions if you don't understand the material

Professor fully expect you to ask questions when you do not understand the material. If you have an immediate clarification question that can be answered quickly, then throw your hand up or just blurt it out. If you require additional, long-winded explanations, then do the rest of the class a favor and ask your professor after the lecture is complete.

Befriending professors can have a dramatically positive effect on your academic development. You should strengthen your relationships with your professors during their office hours. Be a good student, know what's expected of you and execute accordingly. You'll find that if you show your professors the respect they deserve, they will gladly help you out in any way they can.

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