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Building Relationships with Instructors

Building relationships with your instructors does not mean that you are trying to be a “brown-noser” or a “teacher’s pet.” In order to succeed during school and even after graduation this is a strategy that is often overlooked by students. Use these tips to build a valuable relationship with a professor or other mentor.

  • Choose carefully – While it is a great idea to build relationships with as many of your instructors as possible, it is a better idea to focus on building a strong relationship with one in particular. Choose an instructor or advisor that you feel most comfortable with and who will take the time to coach you. It is also beneficial to build a relationship with someone that has experience in your chosen career. It is easier to relate to someone that understands what you are going through and can offer relevant advice.


  • Focus in class – It is important to pay attention throughout all of your classes, however in order to gain the trust and respect of your instructor trust you MUST put away your electronic devices; unless of course you are using the device to take notes. Although it is tempting to chat with your friend about the latest news during class, this is another distracting behavior, so be sure to save the conversation for after class. Instructors notice when students are giving them full attention and will appreciate the respect you are showing them while being attentive during class.


  • Utilize office hours – As unappealing as this may sound, go for it! Whether you have a question about a concept, need help preparing for a test or would simply like another set of eyes to look over the draft of a paper, the first step is to ASK. Instructors are there to help you and are appreciative when students genuinely show an interest in succeeding in their classes. By taking the time to go to your professor’s office it will show that you genuinely want to succeed in their class and value their opinion, which is another aspect of building relationships.


These tips will guide you to a stronger relationship with your instructor that is beneficial both now and in the future!

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