Professors are human, like everyone else. They have feelings, preferences, and pet peeves. While they’re supposed to be objective, especially when it comes to grades, it’s impossible to rule out the effect of their subjective judgments. That’s why it always pays to get—and stay!—on your professor’s good side. Here’s how to get on your professor’s good side:
Participate in class.
Nothing will get you on your professor’s good side faster than in-class participation. No professor—even in a lecture-based class—wants to spend the entire time talking to a bunch of blank faces. Instead, get involved. Even if that means just asking questions.
Ask good questions.
Not all questions are created equal, of course. Asking what the homework is if the homework is already listed on the syllabus will just demonstrate that you’re not really paying attention. It’s better to ask questions that show you’re engaged with the material, even if you’re only asking for help.
Don’t distract other students.
If you’re eating in class, noisily unwrapping a candy bar, or playing on your phone, whispering to your friends, or even trying to nap with your eyes open, you should assume your professor will notice. This is especially true if your behaviors affect other students’ ability to concentrate. Never do these things and you’re one step closer to getting on your professor’s good side!
Make use of your professor’s office hours.
Most professors spend at least a few hours a week sitting alone in their offices, hoping a student will come in for some one-on-one help. Making use of that time will definitely improve your comprehension of the material, may boost your performance on final exams, will probably improve your participation grade, and will go a long way to convincing your professor that you’re an actively-engaged student.
Show up to class on time.
Arriving to class late on a regular basis is a sure-fire way to get noticed by your professor—and not in a good way. Showing up on time, on the other hand, will ensure that you get and stay on your professor’s good side for the whole semester. Consistency is key! Be a polite, reliable student from the moment class starts to the moment it ends.