Although the word “professor” alone can be intimidating, having a great one can be a huge part of your success in class and, eventually, your chosen career. Professors put a lot of time and effort into planning their courses so you can take away critical knowledge. With that in mind, here are a few things you should never say to your professor (even if they’re true):
1. Did I miss anything important?
If you had to skip a class for some reason, don’t bother asking your professor if you missed anything important – the answer will be “yes.” Professors only teach you content that they think is valuable. In addition, as a college student it is your responsibility, not the professor’s, to find out what you missed when you were absent, so ask another student in class.
2. I’m taking this class for an easy A
Telling your professor that you are taking their class because you heard it was easy or because it’s required is the same as saying to them that you don’t care about their course and don’t plan on putting in any effort. It’s inconsiderate, and your comment could come back to bite you.
3. How much work do we have to do?
Asking this question clearly demonstrates to your professor that you are only willing to do the minimum amount of work required to get by in the course. If you really want to know exactly what you need to do to pass the class, consult the syllabus.
4. Do we need to know this for the exam?
Again, consult the syllabus. If the information isn’t there, assume that everything your professor mentions in class is fair game, and that includes readings that you have been assigned. Remember: The goal is to prepare you for a successful career, not just pass the class.