Yep, that’s right. There are just SO many ways to impress your professors that we needed two whole posts to tell you about it. So, moving on…
Remember from the last post: professors are PEOPLE, too. It’s okay to, you know, say hello when they enter the room, or smile if you feel like it. Most professors won’t turn into the Incredible Hulk on you, and will actually appreciate the kind gesture.
Ask your professor what they’re working on. Most professors are also working on some major research or creative project that is related to the class they are teaching. Most likely they love talking about it, and if given the chance will talk for ages about it, and will be thrilled that someone cared enough to ask.
If a professor invites the class to an event that they are going to be presenting their work at or have organized, GO. Your professors have lives outside of teaching the one class you are taking. Their lives revolve around their academic interests, and they are paid very little and receive very little praise to do what they love. So go, support them in their professional endeavors, and it may even be an enlightening experience for your own intellectual growth.
Contribute to the learning experience outside of class
If you find out about an event, a talk, a gallery opening, a show, anything that relates directly to the topic of the course, forward it to the professor. This will show him or her that you’re thinking about what you’re learning outside the lecture hall. The professor may even choose to include the event as part of the syllabus, or as a class trip. Bonus points for adding something valuable to the dialogue!
Take advantage of office hours
You can also visit your professor during his or her office hours to talk more about the class. So few students actually do this. It’s a great opportunity to get personal attention from your teacher, so why not go? Think of a question to ask, or zero in on something that you found particularly interesting that you want to learn more about, and go. Otherwise your professor will be sitting in his or her office, alone again, in that silent, vacuous void.