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Advice to students: How to talk to Professors

-By Mohina Sharma

“The test of a good teacher is not how many questions he can ask his pupils that they will answer readily, but how many questions he inspires them to ask him which he finds it hard to answer”

Professors are true representatives of higher education system. They are part and parcel of a student’s life, devoting their precious time in honing the skills of a student and giving them right direction.

But in today’s world of hooliganism, the student – professor relationship has been ruptured where the student don’t know how to communicate to the professors, where the line of control exists. There is a significant gap in terms of courtesy which should be taken care of while talking to professors.

Everybody knows world is not entirely black or white, there are grays which are present everywhere. What I mean by this line is not all students are hooligans, many of them sincerely want to gain knowledge but not all students have the courage to communicate to their respective professors.

What should be the right approach while communicating with Professors? Below are some tips that might come in handy:

  1. Mode of communication: Every professor has his/her own way of teaching, same goes with their communication preferences. It is relevant for a student to explore and understand his professor’s channel of communication, i.e., whether he likes to communicate through email or by an offline appointment.
  • Remember specific hours of meeting: Every professor specifies their free doubt clearance hours. A student should be courteous and could schedule appointment in advance to avoid last minute delays.
  • Tone of communication : Studentsshouldbe polite and should stress on setting the right tone of communication while introducing oneself for strengthening Professor-Student relationship.
  • Small Talk Helps: Sometimes a polite conversation about unimportant or uncontroversial matters helps in smoothening the bond between a student and professor. However, small talk depends upon nature of professor, whether professor likes getting straight to the point or prefers small talk. In either case small talk helps.
  • Clarity of purpose: Since a student cannot decipher on his/her own, how much time the professor shall use in talking with the student, so to save time, student should clearly understand purpose of visit beforehand so that it can  delivered.
  • Being Data ready: If a student asks for advice that might need additional data, it’s always better to have all the relevant data with him/her.

Professors help in shaping the destinies of the students. Professors are like oxygen, essential but hard to notice. However sometimes communication barriers occur, making it difficult for both student and professor to communicate properly.

But students should not let that dishearten them. In most cases, there is still a great possibility to get help from professors, to get to know them better and so on.

So students should do their best, remember the tips and continue scaling the ladder of success by striking a balance between his/her capabilities and professor’s golden words of guidance.

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