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How do I achieve a close relationship with my professor if I have large classes?

I've always gone to small schools with small class sizes, which enabled me to be close with my teachers and ask questions whenever I needed. I am concerned that I will not have this opportunity in a bigger class setting.
#professor #student #class-size

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Olivia! Great question! It can be difficult when there are many students and the lecture halls are large, so the relationship between professor and student can feel impersonal. However, there are ways to make yourself known to your professor; the biggest one is attending office hours. If it is a question or just comments on some of the topics that have gone over, an office hour will give you more face-to-face time with your professor. There you can also speak about your goals for the future and help to solidify a relationship especially if you need a letter of recommendation or reference in the future. Some professors will also host study hours for exams or research opportunities and taking part in those can give more opportunity to get to know your professor. Lastly, always try to do well in class by studying and completing assignments, if you show effort it will definitely be noticed! One of my professors offered me research because of the effort I put into his class!

Best of luck!

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Sheila’s Answer

Hello Olivia:

It can be quite challenging attempting to develop a relationship with an instructor of large classes. Below are a few suggestions.

I wish you much success as you get to know your professors and build relationships. You can do this! :)

Best of luck!

~ Sheila

Sheila recommends the following next steps:

1) Attend class early. This way you could have personable 1:1 (one-on-one) chats before students arrive
2) Stay after class ends. The same approach above applies in step 1
3) Volunteer. Volunteering opens up the doors for many opportunities and resources
4) Participate. If the class is sponsoring events for participation; do so (opt-in) and get involved

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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Olivia,

I would say get very familiar with your professor's office hours and take advantage of them. Even if you can't connect with your teacher as much as you want, a teacher can direct you to other resources like student study groups.


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Brandi’s Answer

Most professors at large university will have office hours that allow you one on one time with them. Take advantage of that as often as possible. Most students don't for most classes, so it is a great time to get your professors to know you. In my experience, it goes a long way in having the professor be more understanding of your circumstances.

For instance, I had trouble with a class in college. I went to every one of the professors office hours. When grade time came, he bumped up my grade a point because he could see I was really putting in the effort.

Also, if you can, stay after class to talk or come early before class starts. Those are great opportunities to meet your professors.