Sometimes, in a lecture with upwards of a hundred people, it can be daunting to reach out to the teacher and ask questions or introduce yourself. However, doing so will undoubtedly set you apart from other students and encourage your success in the class. Professors are there for the purpose of helping students learn and understand the material, so you should never be afraid to utilize them as a resource.
The most obvious way to get noticed in class is by staying engaged in the material and asking and answering questions. Even in lecture halls, professors usually don’t mind when students raise their hands and ask a question they are unsure about. Answering the question is beneficial for you, other students, and even the professor.
For example, if they went too quickly over a certain subject and you ask them to clarify, they’ll know to slow down or reiterate the subject matter because you were most likely not the only student who felt that way. In addition, most professors are thrilled when students are willing to answer questions in class. There’s nothing worse than the awkward silence in a full lecture hall when a professor asks a question and no one is brave enough to take a chance.
Even if you get the answer wrong, it’s better to be wrong in a classroom with no stakes than on the test, and the professor will be grateful that you were engaged and attempted!
Likewise, most professors are required to office hours for students to come in and ask questions or receive help with the material. Going to office hours will give you the opportunity to receive clarification in a more intimate environment and can be a great way for the professor to put a face to your name! If you have questions and can’t make it to office hours, professors are usually willing to answer questions before or after class or via email.
In addition to giving you a valuable contact for recommendations or opportunities in the future, getting to know a professor will also give you an incentive to work hard in the class because you won’t want to disappoint someone who knows you personally!