Raising issues with a college professor can be intimidating for many students. Yet, it is important to communicate clearly when you need it. Do not be afraid, it is possible to make sure that your conversation is respectful and fruitful.
After all, professors usually want every student to succeed in their class. If you do not know how to start this communication, here are several tips that will help.
Evaluate the Problem
First of all, think of what the issue is. Maybe you need to let them know about your mental health struggle, ask for advice with the curriculum, or inspect the grading question. Identify the problem and decide how you can formulate it in a concise and not hostile way.
Think of Possible Solution
Also, think of what you need from a professor and how this problem can be resolved (you can propose your solution).
Make sure that you cannot solve this issue on your own. For example, maybe you have questions regarding the assignment. Read the syllabus first, the answer can be there. Consider asking an essay writer for help writing EssayHub if it is your point of concern.
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The rule of thumb is that before you raise a question with a professor, you need to be sure that there is no other way to solve the problem.
Book an Appointment
Do not try to start a serious conversation during or after the class. They have other things to worry about or they might be running late for the next lecture. Check out the time when you can book a personal appointment with the professor and do so.
It will make it more comfortable for both of you to talk. If you are in an online class, the solution is to write a personal email.
One of the main reasons why such communication can go wrong is that students may act from the place of emotion. Do not get the frustration to get the best of you. Take a moment to calm down and think clearly. No matter what the question is, getting angry is not going to do any good to your case.
Tell the Truth
The worst thing a student can do is to lie. Do not try coming up with an excuse for why you’ve missed the class if you do not have one. For example, if you missed it due to your mental health struggles, just be honest about it.
The reason is simple – the truth is the fundament of trust and respect. And believe it or not, but due to their experience, lecturers have heard all types of excuses and lies throughout their careers. They can tell when students are being dishonest.
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Be Polite and Respectful
It is quite an obvious tip, yet many forget about it when they are personally involved in something. You do not want to start a conflict, so remain polite and respectful in any case.
Use the proper title to address the person, do not interrupt, and listen to their feedback. Be aware that they might not know about the problem you are facing, so there is no ill intent from their side.
Be Ready for Criticism
Of course, it depends on the particular issues you are dealing with. But getting critical feedback from a professor can be a possible outcome. Just prepare yourself for such a scenario.
Do not get defensive – it might seem unprofessional, childish, or even more conflicting. Take it with grace and consider it a learning opportunity. Make sure that you hear it and take into consideration what you can change in your behavior or attitude.
Work on Solution Together
Whatever the issue is, the main goal is to find the solution to it. And you need to do it together. That’s why it is essential to make it a conversation, not an argument. Try to use a problem-solving approach, propose your ideas, and listen to what they have to say.
Analyze together what can be done, or if there is a place for mutual compromise. Never approach this meeting with the idea that the professor is the only one who needs to do something.
Although it seems scary, do not make it a bigger problem than it is. Professors are also humans that have the same emotions as students. They are not some evil mythical creatures. And in the majority of cases, they do want to help you out. So just be prepared, calm, and respectful. In such a case, you will definitely find a solution to an issue together.