It may be a little late for this semester, but next semester will be here before you know it and depending on what type of student you normally are, you may want/need to make some changes. Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that most professors care about a lot more than just your class work. They like to see punctuality, enthusiasm, professionalism, and overall a solid and genuine effort. All of this will ultimately make the class easier on you and result in a higher grade… So, unless you are one of the few “poor” students, who is really smart and actually understands everything from the book and lectures, here are some things that helped me improve in my college courses.
There is probably nothing professors hate more than being interrupted in the middle of a lecture by someone who overslept or didn’t leave early enough to account for heavy traffic. I learned that I always did better when I would wake up well in advance, go to a campus coffee shop and patiently wait or study until class. This way I never had to worry about a horrible traffic jam making me late for class or potentially missing my alarm. Whatever works for you, try to get into a pre-class routine so that class isn’t the first thing you do with your day.
- Sit Centered in the First Five Rows of Big Lectures
You don’t want to be “that student” who is always front and center, practically begging the teacher to be their friend, but you want the teacher to notice you. In small classrooms it’s pretty easy to become noticed, but in large lecture halls, try to sit centered somewhere in the first five rows, ideally a seat that will have natural eye contact with the teacher. Pay attention and smile.
- Ask Intelligent Questions
In order to show the professor that you genuinely care about the class, or at minimum your grade, ask intelligent questions during lecture. Politely raise your hand when it seems like a good time to interrupt and ask for clarification. Chances are you aren’t the only one with that question, but the professor will remember you in particular for it. Just be sure not to as too many questions, as being interrupted too frequently gets annoying.
- Dress Like You Care
I saw far too many of my “friends”/classmates literally go to class in their pajamas, with un-kept hair and no care in the world. Not only is this slightly gross, it looks terrible to the professor. A lot of those students would probably tell you they want to be comfortable if they have to be in class all day, which is fine, but it looks lazy and professors don’t care much for lazy students. It’s also incredibly unprofessional and I for one wouldn’t be too fond of someone showing up to my office in that state. Put forth a little effort, visit A’gaci.com and get some respectable yet comfortable clothes. The more you care, the more your professors will care too.
- Visit them Outside of Class for Anything Unclear
FInally, try to establish some sort of demeanor with them outside of the classroom. This means that if something isn’t quite clear, visit them during their office hours and get them to break it down for you one-on-one. They will love the effort, and most likely reward you for it in the end. If you are doing fine in the class, yet find yourself passing their office, feel free to peek in and say hello so long as they aren’t already busy. Any kind of contact outside the classroom will create a more personal bond that professors typically enjoy and remember when it comes time to submit final grades.