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How to get in your lecturers' good books

Did you know that taking the time to develop a positive relationship with your lecturers can not only benefit your uni experience, but your future career prospects as well? And it’s not hard to get in your lecturers’ good books! From making the most of extra-curricular opportunities, to sending a polite and proofread email, we show you five simple ways you can get off on the right foot with your USQ lecturers.
But don’t stop there! Uni is a great place to develop your professional network of contacts. Check out USQ Alumni Nick’s advice for making connections and improving your career prospects while at uni.

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How to get in your lecturers' good books

  1. 1. How to get in your lecturers’ good books 5 steps to help you build a positive relationship with your lecturers.
  2. 2. At uni, your lecturers take a pretty casual approach to classes. You’re treated as an adult with opinions, ambitions and viewpoints to share and you’re free to come and go as you please. But rather than taking advantage of the more relaxed environment at university, why not do what you can to build a relationship with your lecturers?
  3. 3. Getting in your lecturers’ good books isn’t about being a teacher’s pet or trying to befriend them in the hopes of getting a better grade. Taking the time to develop a strong and respectful relationship with your lecturers is about making the most of your university experience and thinking ahead to professional connections that could be of use in your career.
  4. 4. Any new relationship can be a little awkward at first, so here are 5 things you can do to get off on the right foot with your university lecturers and tutors.
  5. 5. Show up 1
  6. 6. To get on your lecturer’s good side you’ll first need to get on their radar by showing up to class. If you study on-campus, make the effort to be punctual to your classes, make eye contact with your lecturer and always say hello and goodbye. If you’re late to class or need to leave early, explain this to your lecturer and try not to disturb the class as you’re moving in or out. It’s also a good idea to keep unnecessary classroom chatter to a minimum.
  7. 7. If you’re an online student, don’t assume your study habits will go unnoticed. Your lecturers and tutors can access USQStudyDesk logs that tell them when you last signed in and accessed the course materials. Keep up to date with the weekly study schedule and make the effort to leave comments or questions on the course forum to build rapport with your lecturer and show that you’re actively engaged with the course.
  8. 8. ‘Be respectful and show courtesy when the lecturer is speaking and they’ll show the same to you. It’s also good to maintain honest communication with your lecturers. Be open about any struggles you might have with the class and seek help when needed.’ Emily BACHELOR OF ARTS
  9. 9. 2 Participate
  10. 10. There’s nothing more awkward than when a lecturer asks a question (either in class or on a forum) and not a single person responds… University classes work best when you participate in the learning process by asking questions, sharing your point of view and engaging with your lecturers and peers.
  11. 11. What we’re trying to say is, if you want to make a good impression on your lecturer, don’t be that person who always makes a beeline for the back row and sits in silence for the whole lesson. Keep up-to-date with the course material and readings and come to class prepared to share your thoughts and questions when the opportunity arises. Not only will this show that you’re genuinely interested and engaged in what you’re learning, it also tells your lecturer that you’re listening and respect what they have to say.
  12. 12. ‘Teaching and learning at university works best as an interactive process. It’s good for lecturers to find out where students need most support in their learning journey and what interests them about what they’re studying, and for students to appreciate their lecturer’s views, knowledge and skills. Your lecturer will appreciate the effort you make to let them know what you are hoping to learn from the course, and asking for help and guidance if needed (well before the assessment deadline, please!).’ Brad Carter PROFESSOR, PHYSICS
  13. 13. 3 Make use of your lecturers’ office hours
  14. 14. Your lecturers have a wealth of knowledge and experience that can benefit you in your learning and career journey. Their office hours are a great opportunity to get one-on-one feedback and support, as well as being a chance to get to know your lecturer on a more personal level. If your lecturer’s office hours don’t align with your schedule, explain the circumstances and ask politely if there is another time you could meet. Most lecturers will be happy to negotiate a different time.
  15. 15. To get the most out of your visit, make sure you have a clear reason for being there (this shows that you respect their time), such as to ask for more detailed feedback on an assignment, to enquire about career opportunities or to ask for support with a particular topic or concept in the course. Try to avoid dropping in without a clear purpose and don’t use office hours to harass your lecturer for your assignment or exam results. It’s also a nice idea to follow up your meeting with an email and thank your lecturer for their time.
  16. 16. ‘I believe it’s a sign of intelligence to ask a question when you don’t understand something. So don’t be shy and introduce yourself either in person or via email. If you are polite and friendly, show interest and motivation, you will get along with me.’ Victoria Terry LECTURER, NURSING
  17. 17. Be courteous in your communication 4
  18. 18. While uni is a fairly relaxed learning environment, that doesn’t mean you should get lazy with your communication style. Lecturers appreciate good manners, such as a friendly ‘good morning’ if you see them around campus or a genuine ‘thank you’ when they’ve helped you out by answering a question.
  19. 19. It’s also a good idea to be polite and professional in your emails and forum postings. Make sure you’ve provided enough context for your question or comment to make sense and take the time to proofread your message. Don’t forget to include a salutation and a sign off (including your full name) each time. No matter how well you get to know your lecturer, treat every interaction (verbal or written) as a practice run for the professional world. Good manners go a long way!
  20. 20. ‘Email etiquette is so important and it takes practise. Your years as a student give you the opportunity to develop good email habits that will not only show you are professional and competent, but may win you what you seek later on in your career. Take your time when wording an email, use clear punctuation and don’t include slang. Also, make sure you send your request well in advance of any deadlines so that you give the recipient plenty of time to respond.’ Barbara Ryan SENIOR LECTURER (PUBLIC RELATIONS)
  21. 21. 5 Go the extra mile
  22. 22. Throughout your studies, your lecturers might make you aware of activities, events or extracurricular projects that you can be involved in. Before you dismiss these opportunities, have a think about the benefits of participating. Not only does extracurricular participation show your lecturer that you’re a dedicated student, it also gives you the chance to make industry connections, build your résumé and enhance your understanding of the course content.
  23. 23. There’s nothing nerdy about going the extra mile to get the most out of your university experience. You never know who you might meet or what recommendations you may receive as a result. And if you can impress your lecturer in the process, that’s a bonus!
  24. 24. ‘Personally, as a film student I found the best way to get along with my lecturers was to show a lot of interest in the course material and volunteer for extracurricular activities that they offered. It was a great way to work personally with the lecturer outside the university environment and in a professional one. It was also incredibly useful for gaining more hands-on experience in my studies.’ Nik BACHELOR OF CREATIVE ARTS
  25. 25. You don’t need to be best friends with your lecturers and tutors, but making the effort to develop a positive relationship with them can benefit both your studies and your career. These 5 tips are a great starting point to help you get off on the right foot with your lecturers and step into their good books.
  26. 26. But why stop there?
  27. 27. CRICOS: QLD00244B NSW02225M TEQSA: PRV12081 14.1.H 02.2017 social.usq.edu.au Your lecturers, tutors and university peers are just the beginning of your professional relationships. University offers you the chance to make many connections that could benefit you in the future. Check out USQ alumni Nick’s advice on building a strong network and improving your career prospects while at uni.