Professors
 
 
 
 
Professors

The social code of behavior between students and professors is not as precisely defined in the United States as it might be in other countries. While some professors adhere to more traditional methods, others will come to class wearing jeans and sports shirts and insist that you call them by their first names.
Here are a few pointers to help you deal with professors
  • Always address teachers as "Professor" or "Doctor" unless instructed otherwise. If the teacher desires to be called something else, he or she will usually tell you. Do not be shocked to hear students calling professors by their first names. This is especially common among graduate students, since they develop a closer professional relationship with their teachers than undergraduate students do.
  • Professors in the United States hold office hours, usually several times a week, when they are available for consultation. It is an opportunity used by many students to discuss projects, to review material covered in class, or simply to exchange ideas on a given topic. Most professors are willing to meet students for these purposes, and they can be very helpful. Take advantage of the availability of office hours. These informal meetings could prove to be a turning point in your understanding of a subject and in your relationship with a professor. Professors usually take notice of students who show interest by participating in class and by visiting during office hours. If you cannot be available during a certain professor's office hours, he or she will generally give you the chance to schedule meetings at other times.
  • Much of the professor's impression of you will be based on your level of class participation. Be prepared for each class. Demonstrate interest in class, speak up, ask questions, and respond to others' comments. However, make sure your participation is not simply to be noticed, but that it contributes constructively and positively to the class.
  • At the undergraduate level, many Teaching Assistants (TAs) work with professors and often teach partial or full courses. These TAs are usually graduate students from the department. You should not call them "Professor" but rather "Mr." or "Ms." or, if they ask you to, by their first name.
 
 
 
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