By Johnnesha Wilson
Senior Justis Reyes who majors in biology remembered a time when he went to go see a professor who expected him understand the material from a previous semester. The professor just shooed him away. Reyes said he felt brushed to the side.
“A lot of people feel intimidated by their professors not only because of, I guess, the material or the subject matter or how difficult it is it to understand the topic or maybe even the lack of interest, but racial barriers,” said Reyes. “You know the stigmatism between many professors.”
As students begin to transition out of high school and into college, many challenges await. In the beginning, the environment is unfamiliar and students usually won’t know anyone. So how do students get professors to know them by name?
“I ask questions during class and I come up to them after class,” junior Nicole Cuadana, who majors in environmental education, said.
Sophomore Carlos Barajas, who majors in business, said he goes to visit his instructors during their office hours.
“Because most students don’t do that,” Barajas said. “They kind of just fly by without visiting their teachers, thinking they know the subject, but you have to go in there.”
Barajas said he feels if you don’t introduce yourself to someone then they won’t know who are.
Senior Viviana Martinez, a sociology major, said she just tries to make sure and tell them who she is so they don’t get her confused with someone else.
“I usually try to have personal conversations with them about certain lectures and try to get to know them, as well as them getting to know me,” she said.
Loren Cannon, who teaches in the philosophy department, said he uses note cards to learn names.
Cannon said he’s not good with verbal directions, but with written direction. At the beginning of each class, he’ll pull two note cards out of the stack and interview the students aloud so that they’ve each spoken to him at least once.
“In-class activities are helpful because it makes student feels more comfortable to interact one-on-one,” said Cannon.
Other things that helps Cannon remember who students are include looking at the person’s face while Cannon’s passing back homework, quizzes or exams. Also, he pays attention to penmanship and he practices by looking over note cards while he’s in his office.
“Depending on your major such as social sciences require you to do reading and in class discussions because if you don’t you won’t have much to say,” he said. “And that’s usually how teachers get to know you. Whereas in science classes, your professor is doing a big lecture where they won’t have the time to get to know each person by name.”
Reyes mentioned it’s important to ask questions because the more questions you ask, the more opportunities you get for the professor to know you are.
“It’s one thing to know my name, but it’s actually another to know who I am and why I’m in your class,” said Reyes.