The Importance of Building a Professional Relationship with Your Professor
This research study explored the affective domain of teacher- student .. The concept of teachers building relationships with their students in order to be seen as. A college professor gives advice for students on how to build They go off to internships, jobs, and graduate programs with letters of. Research points to seven tips for developing positive teacher-student There are many different ways teachers can build positive relationships with their.
I reached out to my professor as the semester came to a close to discuss internships. As a result of the effort I put into class, she told me she would put in a call to recommend me for an internship. This was a connection I never would've made without my professor. Yes, we all have a reference that's vaguely a family friend that you babysat for back in high school. That worked fine when you were applying for minimum wage positions freshman year of college.
Now you may need a recommendation letter, a professional or educational reference and a close, trusted teacher is an excellent choice for any of the those. Your professor is an expert in their given field.
No one knows more about your options post graduation than a professional. The graduate student, however, is expected to read widely in his field and then bring his academic focus to bear on a narrower field of study with the goal of contributing some new knowledge to the field Educational emphasis is on preparing for small seminar discussions with peers and conducting research, and usually involves the writing and presentation of a thesis.
Without this vital input from someone learned in his field, many students feel they are merely a collector of facts, lacking experienced counsel. A mentor can stimulate his proteges to a higher standard of creativity and professionalism in their field.
A student needs an advocate and an understanding counselor for the stresses he faces.
Graduate students in particular confront a number of unique pressures, often without any understanding on the part of the faculty.
Faculty have personal pressures to publish that cause them to see graduate students as the vehicle for research. Many students are married and have families and their spouses may also be students. Some grads have part-time employment in low-paying TA programs or off campus jobs. With tuition at many institutions doubling every other year and corresponding increases in books and supplies, the graduate student is hard pressed to make ends meet.
The demands of class and seminars, the need to work and spend time with spouse and family rob grad students of precious hours for research to complete their thesis.
My studies suffered so l cut back. Sometimes faculty increase the pressures on students. My advisor is the chairman of the department. I have a fellowship, and he picked me as his advisee.
A student in such a position often has no recourse. Despite the lack of constructive relationships in many departments, most grads desire closer contact with faculty. The following comments were made by students who point out the importance of continuing dialogue: A mentor who knows your field well can serve as an apt counselor when it comes to the area of career advisement.
It he is up on his research and he should be and knows you well enough, he should be aware of some potential career choices that would be good for you to consider. Richard; Engineering; Ohio St. My advisor is well-connected in the academic village and when he heard I had in interest in a post-doctorate in Japan, his connections made it happen Aaron; History; U.
Fifty-three percent thought that having an instructor whom they could consult on perconal matters was either important or somewhat important. In several departments at the University of Washington in Seattle, faculty sponsor monthly socials for graduate students in the department. One student described how his department had a gourmet club in which both graduate students and professors could participate.
This provided a change of pace from the normal academic activities and allowed student to get to know professors in a different setting. The insights gained often helped in their working relationships. These people make valuable contributions to our national life as they pursue their various fields. Therefore one result of contentious relationships is a dwindling pool of impassioned, well-rounded graduates to fill the need for leadership and scholarship for our national future.
Some grads have told us that they have pulled back from faculty relationships or even changed their career focus because of bad experiences. The major result of poor relationships is alienation of the student.
5 Ways to Develop Strong Relationships with Your Grad School Professors
A low level of communication may foster misunderstanding on the part of a professor or may be perceived by the student as deception. For example, one student told his professor that he was not really ready for his qualifying exams.
Go ahead and take them anyway. You can take them over later if necessary. He never trusted any faculty again. The political nature of some departments may create poor atmosphere for dialogue. When the system stymies personal interaction and dialogue about problems, grads tire of what they perceive as a political game of hoops and hurdles in the department. For example, the unrealistic regulations in Yale University for time to complete degree and the intention of enforcing the rule alienated many grads.
Without interaction because of an impersonal stance in higher education and pressures that create barriers to dialogue, some graduate students never find a mentor who can give them the needed guidance to obtain a quality education.
But students can ameliorate even the most difficult situations. We would like to offer some guidelines on how to circumvent the problems and open channels of communication. The Solutions No worthwhile project is accomplished overnight. Do not expect relationships to happen overnight but plan for creating an environment that will facilitate dialogue, or if that is impossible, plan for alternatives that will help you find a mentor.
The first step is to create an open, non-threatening environment to cultivate potential relationships. If that is unsuccessful, the second step is to develop an alternative by reaching out to other groups on campus that can serve as encourages. Third, a sense of personal security will control environmental disabilities that you encounter. Relationships are not changed or built instantly and one must take small steps toward the ideal.
Use the wisdom and experience you have gained to help you establish the rapport you need to open dialogue. These suggestions can help you in your progress: First, create an open, non-threatening environment to cultivate potential relationships. Define expectations in your department. Each one has its own style and personality.
Determine how yours functions and how you can best use the atmosphere to open dialogue. If your professors like informal, relaxed interaction, come prepared to stimulate their way of thinking. On the other hand, if your department runs formally, use restraint and courtesy to your advantage.
Get to know the most influential members of your department and understand their preferences. Actively find out what your faculty expect of you. Find out if your committee will back you. Then he protected me, steered me and disallowed one dangerous comment that would have hurt me. One student describes what he did to define expectations: I pulled together my committee to ask them what they required of me to get my Ph.
They responded in silence, with no ideas.
But after an hour, they had hammered out a path for me to follow. Understand the pressures faculty face. Do you know what kinds of stresses your advisor faces? Faculty, as well as graduate students, are under many forms of pressure.
They, too, operate under all sorts of time constraints. Initiate social or intellectual discussion with the professor on specialty issues. Begin by asking them questions rather than giving your opinion. In a doctoral program, the more quickly a student becomes socialized into his department, the greater his progress. Having a clear picture of what to expect from your teachers, administrators and advisors will help you find a starting point to begin communication and socialization.
Unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment and even to failure.
The Importance of Building a Professional Relationship with Your Professor
Faculty see students come and go over the years and may not want the kinds of closeness you desire. Most of all, keep yourself flexible and adapt to departmental quirks and personality differences. Build on faculty perceptions of analytical thinking. A study by Powers and Enright found that certain kinds of thinking skills are more valued in academia: Three of these include: Faculty also agreed upon the most serious reasoning errors and critical incidents.
Then implement the most valued reasoning skills to give yourself greater acceptability and distinction. Develop your communication skills. Strive for good, clear, honest communication with your advisor.
As a student, you can initiate dialogue. But achieving and maintaining communication channels means knowing how to open a conversion, when to speak and when to listen, and how to communicate your desires and concerns. To practice active listening, the sender gets tangible feedback from the receiver as to ho v he, the receiver, should decode the message.
After hearing the feedback, the sender then either confirms or corrects the message. Should your advisor correct what you have said, then verbally confirm that correction.
Prof/Grad Relationships – Grad Resources
Your feedback avoids needless miscommunication and helps you focus your thinking in the right direction. Active listening also involves using your interaction time wisely. When meeting with a professor, be organized. Also, if you know you will be missing any classes during the semester, let your professors know early on and plan on reminding them closer to the date s of absence s. Once you have been absent, take responsibility for obtaining missed notes, assignments, and lectures.
At the beginning of each semester, thoroughly read the syllabus for each class. Syllabi act as a contract between professors and students. Most professors devote a significant amount of time making their syllabi comprehensive, informative, and user-friendly so students are fully aware of the rules, guidelines, and regulations governing the class. Attention and adherence to the syllabus will promote a smooth, productive, and successful semester.
Syllabi, when used appropriately, allow you to take charge of your own learning. Treat your professors as partners in your education rather than as people who are responsible for your success.