The semester is in full swing and everyone is working on midterm papers, studying, and working on keeping grades from slumping during the second half of the semester. This may be a high stress time in the semester but it is important to remember that there are so many resources on campus available to help you and one of the best resources are your professors! As students of Salem State, we are lucky enough to enjoy small class sizes where the professors get to know us by name and even by our work. It is so important to take advantage of the access we have to our professors and keep in mind that they are here to help us succeed!
What Can I Do to Help my Professors Help Me?
- Utilize office hours– Professors are required to have office hours where you can pop in and get help on things you are having trouble with, express concerns about the class or your performance, ask any questions you may have, or just simply say hello and ask about how to be the most successful in his/her class
- Talk Before or After Class– Come to class a few minutes early and ask any questions you might have or simply chat with your professor or stay a few minutes after and ask any clarifying questions you didn’t have time to during the class
- Email– Don’t be afraid to send an email to your professors if you need help when it is not their office hours or you are not in class
What Are the Benefits of Talking to My Professor?
- Improved Grades– getting clarification on parts of the class that are confusing as well as gaining a better understanding of what the professor is expecting of you can make you more successful in class.
- Good Relationship with Professor– Professors are always impressed with students that take responsibility for their own success and learning. They LOVE when students come to their office hours and show that they really care about their class and doing well!
- Letters of Recommendation– Whether you need a letter of recommendation for a job in the future or for a scholarship, professors will be willing to write you them if you start a conversation with them over the course of the semester and they know you. They will have plenty of positive things to say about you if they know that you are working hard in the class and coming for help when you need it!
- Save Money on Books– When a professor posts the books needed for class online each semester, they can really add up. A lot of times they post the newest editions of the book but not much changes from edition to edition. If you email your professor and politely ask if it would be okay to use an early (and cheaper) edition, most of the time they will say yes and you can save a ton of cash!
At first you may be nervous about talking one on one with your professors, but remember that they want to see you succeed and they are always happy to see students take the initiative to talk to them!