Introducing yourself to teachers and professors is something that I highly recommend for every student, not just those in college. A quick introduction is a great way to have your teachers/professors see you as more than just another student and as someone who is excited for the class (even if you aren't excited). It is a great way for them to get to know you and remember who you are, which may come in handy just in case you miss a class or if you need an extension on a project.
Before the Start of Term:
It is always a good idea to email your professor a quick introduction email. You should include your name and the class you are taking with them/when the class is. I like to also ask for any reading materials and the syllabus for the class early, so I can prepare for the semester in advance. Most professors will be willing to send you the syllabus for your course or a previous course to prepare. If your professor does email you the readings or assignments for the course, do them. There is no point in asking for the materials to just push them off till the first week of class. It is extremely important to respond to any emails you receive from your professor letting them know you received their email. A quick "thank you" or "see you in class" should suffice.
First Day of Class:
When you walk into a new class for the first time you should find the professor and introduce yourself in person. "Hello! My name is (Your Name). Thank you again for sending me the syllabus and readings!" They don't get a lot of students introducing themselves like that on the first day, so you will definitely be remembered. If you can't make it to the professor during the class, schedule an appointment to meet them during their office hours. This may seem like a bit of a hassle, but it is well worth it.
Some important first-day advice, pay attention! The first day of class is usually the day they go over their expectations for the class and what they will require of you. Some professors even jump straight into teaching and skip the syllabus talk. You could miss something very important if you don't pay attention to what the professor is saying!
After the First Class:
So you have finished your first day of class and successfully introduced yourself to your teacher/professor, now what? Well, you will want to keep that relationship with them on good terms. Say hello or good morning to them if you see them in the hall. Ask questions during class. Participate in discussions. Try to stay focused in class as much as you can. If you have questions for them, shoot them an email or schedule office hours with them. Just remember, any time you are emailing a professor to include your name, the course, and the time you take it (example: John Doe, Zoology 101, Thursday 9:00 AM).
This is something that I have been doing starting in high school all the way through my first degree and now well into my second. You can put it in simpler terms by saying that I have been doing this for 10+ years now. It puts a face to the name of the person who wrote the fantastic research essay they loved reading and it makes them care more if you do well or not. It really does work wonders. I once had a professor ask me if I was feeling better after missing a class (due to the flu) and they even gave me extra time to turn in an assignment, which was unheard of with this particular professor. Hopefully, this will help at least one person out there and best of luck to you all in the upcoming term!
© 2019 Hanah De Laurell