Throughout your college career, you will have a number of interactions with professors even if you are not an outgoing person. In fact, try to take some enjoyment in meeting this diverse group of people who are thoroughly into their disciplines. These people devote themselves to knowledge and learning. One of the quickest ways to build rapport is to have shared interests. But note, you probably won’t like everyone (its not possible). Just because you do not care for a subject does not limit the possibilities of your interactions with your professors either. 

The scenarios below are moments you will likely encounter during your sojourn through college. Take a moment to examine each situation thoroughly. Remember you as the speaker have a reason, a purpose, for speaking and your audience, the professor, is going to have a human response to what you say. 

Scenario 1

In this scenario, you are in class. The instructor has explained the next major assignment, but you are struggling to follow the instructions. What do you do? 

A common response to this problem is to ask your classmates. If you don’t know how to do something, is it possible your classmates don’t know either?

Another response is to go up and speak to the instructor privately because you don’t want to embarrass yourself by asking the questions out loud. How might the instructor feel about you doing this, especially if they are still trying to explain ideas to the group?

Lastly, raise your hand, tell the instructor what you understand about the assignment and ask clarifying questions. Why tell the instructor what you do understand? 

Scenario 2

At some point, technology is going to impede your ability to turn in assignments. You will probably want to find solutions to your problems, rather than come to the professor with the solution. 

Possible solutions to the situation: 

Email your professor, inform him or her of your situation, and ask for an extension.

Email your professor and ask the professor what to do. 

Get the computer fixed and turn in the assignment late.

How might the professor respond to these solutions?

When you do an assignment, the key is to take responsibility over your work. This scenario asks you to think through how you would approach the situation.

Ask the instructor for specific feedback on assignment.

Ask the instructor for explanation of assignment

Read the assignment prompt and syllabus.

Take notes in class

Look online or in text book for examples. 

Scenario 4

This last scenario happens quite a bit. If you miss class, it is generally a good idea to speak to the professor about what you need to do to catch up. However, think about why and how you are asking.