There may be different reasons why you prefer to avoid approaching your teacher, despite the fact that you need his/her assistance desperately. Some students confess that they are afraid to seem stupid or scared to catch the teacher’s eye after not being present at the classes. Some students provide less frequent reasons such as feeling uncomfortable when talking to an authoritative person or not knowing what reaction to expect. In spite of your personal reasons that prevent you from asking for help, we will teach you how to approach your professor easily.
Follow these 4 steps when there is a need to ask your professor for assistance
Step 1: Decide on the reason you want to ask your teacher for help.
Here is a short list that may give you a hint on the true reason why you are looking for assistance:
- Your test results are unsatisfactory, or you want to increase your grade for a particular assignment;
- You have questions related to your homework, materials given at lectures, or policy of attendance;
- You are late with your assignment or want to negotiate the submission date;
- You are hesitant about your major;
- You have been absent due to the illness;
- You need a letter of recommendation.
Step 2: Arrange a meeting with your professor.
After clarifying the reason, think how soon you want to solve your problem. If it is very urgent, you can consider emailing, calling, or visiting your professor during his/her office hours. When contacting the professor, make sure the time is appropriate for him/her. Also, remember that many professors are usually less receptive immediately before the start of important assignments, such as tests or exams. So, have a look at your syllabus and try to arrange a meeting during your professor’s office hours.
Step 3: Prepare your speech
You may easily avoid embarrassment and anxiety by preparing your questions beforehand. So, list your questions on a piece of paper to minimize your chances of forgetting some key aspects. Have your notebook and a pen by your side to write down the most important responses.
Step 4: Conversation
Be aware of your professor’s title and last name to use it appropriately. Unless the professor expresses the need of less informal greeting, do not use it on your initiative. Appear on time and behave politely when communicating with your professor. If you foresee the need for one more meeting, do not hesitate to arrange it.
Sometimes building student professor relationships may become a challenge. On the other hand, with our tips, you will never feel uncomfortable and worried when there is a need to approach your professor.