Sometimes it seems like half the battle of a class is figuring out the professor and how they think. This week, I talked with a friend who teaches a college class, and she provided a little insight into the mind of a professor. She revealed five things her students tell her all the time that she really does not care about and five things that she really does care about, so read on to find out what you should and shouldn't be telling your professor!
1. What time you email them.
Don't apologize for sending an email at 2 a.m. Your professor is most likely sleeping and is not going to wake up to check their email. With that being said, also don't expect your professor to respond to the email that you send at 2 a.m. They have more important things to worry about (like sleep) in the middle of the night.
2. If you have to use the restroom during class.
You're not in high school anymore. It's a free country, so unless your professor says otherwise, if you have to leave the room it's your choice and your professor really doesn't need to know the reason. However, keep in mind that the ideal time to use the restroom might not be in the middle of your professor saying something important.
3. If you're too tired to come to your night class.
Your professor doesn't care that you had an 8 a.m. class and sports practice. You signed up for the course, so come to it and be prepared to learn and participate. There is usually a place to get coffee on the way to your class if you feel like you're really dragging.
4. If you didn't read because you didn't buy the book.
No, your professor is not going to excuse you from your assignment because you didn't buy the book. You're given a list of required books at the beginning of the semester for a reason. (Pro-tip – ask your professor if there is a copy of the book on reserve in the library. Usually there is and you can save some money to purchase that coffee on your way to class!)
5. Your homework in other classes.
Again, you're in college, so your professor is not going to coordinate their syllabus with all your other classes to ensure you don't have too many assignments. Homework is an unfortunate part of college, but a part of it nonetheless.
So if professors don't care about any of these things, what do they care about?
1. Your success.
Contrary to popular belief, your professor does not want you to fail their class. They want to do their part to help you learn new concepts and do well, both in their class and in life.
2. Understanding assignments.
The point of assignments isn't to confuse you, it's to help you learn. If you don't understand something, ask your professor for clarification either during class time, after class or in an email, that's what they're there for. Plus, grading papers is a lot more fun for them when they can see that you truly understand the concepts being taught.
3. Enjoying the class.
Professors don't want you to dread coming to class every day. They teach because they're passionate about the subject and they want you to enjoy it too! Professors appreciate seeing students laugh and engage in thoughtful discussions.
4. Your mental health and well being.
Professors care about the well being of their students even when they're not in the classroom. If you're struggling and need special accommodations or extra help, let them know so that they can work with you to try to find a solution.
5. Your future and what you want to do after graduation.
The point of college is to prepare you for life after college, and your professors are there to help you with that. Talk to your professor about what you're interested in and they'll likely be able to provide you with advice on how to pursue your interests or they may even know someone who could help you get a job or internship.
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It's true that your professor may not care about the fact that you have papers due in two other classes this week. However, professors are human too, so they do care about you and want to give you the tools and resources that you need to be successful both inside and outside of the classroom!