How to Make Sure Your Professors Remember You
When I was in high school, I was super shy in class. I would never raise my hand and I was still not willing even when participation marks were on line.
Did that change when I first started university? Nope, I was still quiet as ever. Around third year, I was sick and tired of not getting heard. I also knew that I had to learn and step out of my comfort zone. After a few times, it was much easier to approach the professor. Here are some tips to try and make sure your professor remembers your name amongst the sea of students!
1. Make a Calendar for Office Hours
I made it a goal to try and approach professors in office hours. Up until third year, I had almost never gone to office hours solely to ask a question. I started by making a separate calendar for each prof and their office hours on Google Calendar. That way, I could easily turn on the calendar if I wanted to drop by. Whether it’s a virtual or paper version, make now of those hours so you can conveniently check. I typically try to prepare a couple of questions about my assignments or concepts that I’m unsure about.
2. Take Notes in the Margins
I started by making notes on the magins about things that I was unsure about so I could remember what I was unsure about.
Never did those pre-readings? It might be a good idea to skim the reading and see whether any questions arise as you go through the text. Especially if the material on the textbook will be tested, it’s better to read it earlier than the days before your exam. By then, it would probably be too late.
3. Sit in the Front Row
I also found that sitting near the front made it much easier to ask a questions. When you’re in the back row, it makes it even more intimidating to raise your hand since you see how many heads will hear you.
4. Ask Thoughtful Questions
Make sure to also respect the professor’s time. When the answer can be found in the syllabus, it’s probably best to find the answer yourself. When you think of a question to ask, use the 10 minute rule. Take at least 10 minutes trying to find the answer in your course material, lecture slides, etc. If you’re still stuck, then feel free to ask! Don’t spend any longer trying to find the answer. I find that this is a happy medium to make sure you ask questions that are not surface level nor drive your crazy.
Hopefully these tips will help you get to know your professors! As intimidating as they may be, they’re just human. They wear pants one leg at a time.