Use Professor Office Hours To Your Advantage
All students, especially law students, must take advantage of the one-on-one nature of meeting with professors during office hours. These student-teacher interactions are invaluable since they can often evolve beyond the course material into discussions relating to how the subject concepts are connected to other areas of legal study and relevant to the student’s professional goals.
It’s the first day of class, and professors typically observe the ritual of telling students their office hours while telling them to stop in if they need assistance or just want to say hello. Sadly, many professors complain that they see very few students during office hours. In 2020, office hours are not just about meeting in the professor’s office. Many professors are available outside of school for informal interactions, and some even have online chat and Skype sessions with students.
Of course, there are a variety of reasons why students fail to take advantage of a professor’s office hours. Some professors believe that they may receive few office visits because students think that they have nothing valuable to contribute to any personal meeting. They are intimidated by the professor and believe that they are unworthy of her valuable time. Students must keep in mind that professors expect their imperfection, which is, obviously, the primary underlying reason students meet with a professor, and the primary underlying reason that students take a class in the first place.
One of the positive aspects of meeting with a professor personally outside of class is the casual nature of the meeting. Here, a student can experience the professor in a natural setting rather than in the structured setting of a class. Office hours allow professors and students to communicate outside of the hurried pressure of class.
Not only are a professor’s office hours a valuable learning device for students, but office hours are also an important tool for professors to get to know students, which helps them teach more effectively. Interacting on an interpersonal basis in a less-formal environment can result in students better comprehending classroom-covered material. Taking advantage of office hours can help place students at ease in the classroom, thus allowing improved and increased classroom participation.
It’s important to note that professors also bear some responsibility for the number of students who take advantage of their office hours and how frequently. Professors must make students feel welcome in their office by treating them with warmth, empathy, and compassion. They must also think carefully about the times that they schedule office hours, and personally deal with students as much as possible during the process rather than delegating any potential meaningful interaction to an assistant.
A primary focus of the California Desert Trial Academy is the inclusion of all students in every phase and aspect of our learning platform and social environment. The competitiveness of law school can have a negative effect on some students, but some see it as survival of the fittest. The CDTA prefers to look at every interaction between students as a positive learning opportunity for all students. The CDTA trains, educates, and develops students to be exceptional attorneys and trial advocates. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.