Four ways to get to know your instructors
By Julie Wright, Columnist
Ever find yourself falling asleep in class? Do you notice yourself gazing out the window wishing you weren’t necessarily out in the cold, but definitely not in the devastatingly boring class you’re currently in? Well then, this is the article for you! Learn how cultivating a relationship with your instructors can make classes far more interesting.
1. Learn something about them
They probably have over 30 years of life experience and many, many stories that can be laughed at and learned from. One of my instructors, for example, breaks up his very long class by telling us all a story, which is usually either a hilarious or terrible experience. Either way, we end up laughing and it’s a nice break from one hour of basically the same activity. Another instructor is a little more private, but she drops little anecdotes here and there, which is what I cling to during the hour-long lectures she gives. Don’t get me wrong, the class is interesting, but an hour is a little much.
2. Share something about yourself with them
The more you know about your instructor, and the more they know about you, the more interesting and engaging your class will probably be. Some people are super open, so it’s easier for them to share their personal lives, but others are more private, so they won’t be as comfortable disclosing information to people who are essentially strangers. However, the more comfortable you get with your instructors the more comfortable you will become with disclosing information to them. They’ll be able to connect with you and the things in your life, making for a more interesting lesson.
3. Engage in the conversation
I know, actually talking to your instructors seems like a completely terrifying thought, but trust me, it works. If you become engaged in the conversation and stop seeing the older person standing in front of you as an all-knowing god-like being who has the power to make your life either miserable or awesome, they’ll become much less intimidating and you’ll probably be more likely to voice your ideas. (Although I’m still convinced that at least half of the instructors really are all-knowing god-like beings who have the power to make your life either miserable or awesome. Too much power in too few hands.)
4. Talk to them outside of class
Your instructors aren’t crazy half-alien people who live in their classrooms and do nothing but study the subject they teach. They have lives, and the farther into your post-secondary career you get, the higher the probability of running into a current or previous instructor. If you do happen to see one of your instructors outside of class time, don’t dodge awkwardly behind a pole and hope that cartoon laws apply in real life. At least greet them, if not have a nice chat. It’s really just common courtesy at this point.
If you’ve tried all of these methods, and none have worked to pique your interest in your chosen field, I suggest you talk to an academic advisor about maybe switching programs.