Do’s and Don’ts for Going to Meet with Your Professor Things to do Go to scheduled office hours if possible. If you need to ask for a special appointment, ask the professor when it is convenient for him or her to meet with you, rather than reciting all the times that you cannot meet. Show up to any appointment you make with the professor! Things NOT to do Don’t expect the professor to give you the answer. They are there to help you get your paper started or get it moving along, not write it for you. Don’t use your cell phone while you are meeting with the professor. This behavior does not show that your work is the most important thing to you at the moment. Be on time and bring your own paper or Don’t be argumentative if you have a notebook and writing implement. This shows difference of opinion. It’s best just to engage that you came ready to work. in a normal, intellectual discussion of ideas. Use good manners. Smile when you greet the Don’t talk while the professor is talking professor and thank him for his time before because this is disrespectful and doesn’t show you leave. that you’re interested in what they have to teach you. Have some ideas and some thoughts about Don’t get upset at constructive criticism how to develop your ideas if you’re writing from the professor. Instead, ask him or her to explain further how you can improve. View it a paper. as an opportunity to learn, not a problem. Have specific questions or ideas in mind to Don’t approach the meeting with a pointdiscuss with the professor. Show her the by-point agenda that you are so determined work you have already done and then ask to get through that the professor cannot stop questions about the difficulties you’re having. and engage you on the topics that he or she thinks are important (which are probably the ones that impact your grade). Take notes during the meeting. Don’t use the meeting as an opportunity to express your dislike of the subject matter. Be willing to rethink and/or extend your Don’t decide not to follow through on things ideas. Go meet with your professor before the the professor suggests to you like doing extra assignment is to the point where you cannot credit or looking up another source for your change your mind without great difficulty. paper. If you don’t understand something the Don’t pretend you understand what the professor is telling you if you don’t. Failure professor tells you, say so! to communicate is one of the biggest barriers to student learning. Most professors can simplify what they are presenting to you or slow down their explanation of the material. Author: Shirley “Mandy” Sexton, Ph.D.