Don’t be worried about becoming the class pet. Networking with your professors is an important skill that everyone should learn. Not convinced? Here are three reasons why it’s a good idea to knock on your professor’s door during his or her office hours.
1. Find Out What the Professor Wants
There is no better way to find out what a professor expects from your work than to ask the professor directly. Your professor may tell you the level of your work, look over papers before it is time to submit the final draft, and even tell you what you need to improve upon in order to get the most out of the class.
2. Add a Name to the Face
Professors may have hundreds of students in a single semester. It can be hard for them to keep track of them all. However, if you visit your professor during office hours then your professor will be seeing you alone versus as part of a class full of students. In addition, your professor will be impressed that you were one of the few students to visit him or her during office hours. If you are planning to go to graduate school, then your office hour visits are a good way to ask for and gain a recommendation. Also, visiting your professor during office hours will make you feel more comfortable talking to the professor, and you will feel more free to make your opinions known in class. Thus, you will be more engaged in your lectures.
3. Open Avenues of Learning
Your professor will be able to suggest places to visit and books to read that may be interesting to you and relevant to the subject that you are studying. If you are struggling in your class, then your professor might be able to suggest people and resources to help you succeed. Conversely, if your professor develops a good teacher-student bond with you, and your work is of a high enough caliber, then he or she might submit your work for special awards and scholarships.
Of course there are downfalls to your professor knowing who you are. It makes it much more obvious and embarrassing when you are late to class, or fail to turn in assignments, but those are things you don’t want to be doing in college anyways.