So you’ve got a professor you don’t like. Whether you don’t like their grading style, the way they teach, or their attitude, they just aren’t your favorite person in the world at the moment. It happens! My freshman year of college I took an astronomy class that was very difficult, and it didn’t help that the professor’s attitude and grading were kind of sour.
Before you think about dropping the class together, hold out! Although my astronomy class was very difficult I managed to end class with a B+. That’s not too shabby considering I started out with a D. If you’re dealing with a difficult college professor, here are some tips to get you through without having to drop the class!
Communicate With Them Right Away
Although they may seem very unapproachable, it’s extremely important to make your presence known to them. They can’t help you if they don’t know who you are! Introduce yourself in person, and if you know you’re going to be having some trouble in the class, ask what you can do to get extra help. Make the effort to show that you’re trying to get a good grade and participate. They’ll be more likely to help you out if they see you’re trying.
If you’re not someone who typically likes asking questions in class, this is the time to get over that fear. If you have no idea what’s going on or you don’t understand the professor’s teachings, raise your hand and ask them to explain it! Sometimes I think that professors are so educated that they over explain topics and they forget to simplify what they’re saying. Asking them to break down the information could help you better understand the topic.
Use Their Office Hours
Professors have office hours for a reason, utilize them! That block of time is for you to ask any and any questions you have for them and they can answer them! For my astronomy class, I always asked my professor to go over the quizzes with me after each class so I could understand why I missed certain questions. I even asked if they had any advice to give me or other resources to look at if I was wanting extra help or information. Most often they were always glad to give me more material to look at.
Want to read more about how to make the most of your professor’s office hours? Read my post on Taking Advantage Of Your Professor’s Office Hours
Communicate With Classmates
If there seems to be no hope of getting help from your professor, getting to know the people around you is the next best route. They’re most likely just as confused as you are and are needing help as well! I was thankful enough to sit next to some pretty genius girls in my astronomy class and they were able to give me a lot of extra help and tips that I didn’t even realize I needed. It was like having my own group of personal tutors, and I made some great friends out of it!
Dedicate Extra Study Time
This may be a class that needs a bit more attention than all the others! If the professor isn’t exactly giving you all the information you need, try teaching yourself and going over what notes from the class you can understand. Every day I would take 30-40 minutes to just study my astronomy notes and look into any topic I didn’t understand more in depth. Just that extra 40 minutes helped so much and I always came to class better understanding the material.
Still, Respect Them
They may not be your favorite human being on the planet, but they are still your professor and teach your class. Make efforts to say hello and keep a conversation with them. Maybe they aren’t your favorite teacher but they could still be a great person you haven’t taken the time to know yet!
How do you deal with difficult college professors? Leave a comment below!