Why is it that asking a professor for help seems like the most horrible and daunting task you’ll ever face? Whether you just took the hardest test of your life or you simply missed a slide of notes in lecture, asking the professor for help is the most terrifying thing ever. Well, thankfully you’re in luck! Did you know professors actually are humans? They understand and expect you to run into trouble and want you to ask questions. Knowing how to approach your teacher for help will make this daunting task a breeze and will lead you on the path to an A+.
Identify the Problem
Before asking your professor for help, identify what the problem is and come prepared with possible solutions. For example, if you are preparing for a test and don’t understand a section covered, what is it that you don’t understand and why? Sometimes having your professor explain the concept again is all you will need, but if other help is needed, come with suggestions knowing how you learn best.
Determine Best Time to Meet
When professors are not in class, they do actually have a life of their own. Whether or not they are planning lessons, partaking in research or actually spending time outside of work they are busy people. Thankfully, professors do set a time just for you and other students. Take advantage of the office hours that your professor has each week. Office hours will be listed on your syllabus and allow you to speak with your professor one on one. Before stopping by, try to send your teacher an email at least 24 hours before. This will give them a heads up and will allow them to prepare in advance with any material they should bring. If your question will take less than five minutes to explain, stay after class late or come a few minutes early as well.
Don’t Forget about TA’s
Many classes, especially large and challenging courses often have teacher’s assistants. TA’s are not only available to help the professor with grading and teaching, but they are also available to help you with any issues you may be facing. TA’s are very knowledgeable in the course as many of them are graduate students studying that material specifically. Teacher’s assistants also have office hours that are set aside just for helping you. If you cannot meet with your professor, stop by your TA’s office for guidance. TA’s give great advice as they are also students and can provide tips to how they survived the class.
If you are struggling in a college course, you’re not alone. But don’t make the class impossible and any harder on yourself by struggling alone. Asking your professor for help, will not only put a face to your work and show that you care, but will also help you get the grade you want and deserve. Talk to your professor, TA’s and other students in the class when you need help. An A+ is just around the corner, how you will get there?
Kristen Bradley is a writer for CampusLeader.com, a leading online resource for college students and recent graduates. For more information on surviving the college life, visit CampusLeader today.
Daniel & David