Working with Instructors

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How to Work with Instructors

Read your class syllabus – The syllabus is a guideline for the course, and your instructor has taken a lot of time to prepare this information for you. Most of your questions can probably be answered by simply reading the syllabus!

Know the facts – Know your instructor’s name, office hours, office location, and telephone number. Most of this information is available on the course syllabus and each instructor must post his/her office hours on their office door. Utilize your instructor’s office hours to ask for extra help.

Be on time – Show your interest and commitment to the class by being on time (be early!).

Sit up front – Show the instructor that you’re interested! Participate in class by asking questions and responding to questions the instructor asks.

Know when the time is right – Determine the best time to approach your instructor. Attempting to speak with your instructor immediately following class may not be appropriate since he or she might have another class to teach. Ask when the best time to talk would be and then follow up.

Hand in your best work – The better your assignments look, the better your grade will probably be. It’s frustrating to read a paper that’s illegible. Using poor grammar and spelling makes it hard for someone to focus on the content of the paper. Keep a dictionary and thesaurus within easy reach when you study and use them. Use the spell-checker on your computer, but still proofread your paper!

You may not like it, but listen – Your instructor’s job is to help you learn. Sometimes that may involve giving you constructive criticism. Try not to be defensive when your instructor points out an area you can improve in.

Separate what you like from what you learn – You may not like your instructor’s views on a particular subject or the tone of his or her voice. But that’s not why you’re in class. You’re in class to learn. If you find yourself focusing on things outside the content of the lecture, make a mental note and refocus yourself on the information that is being presented.