As a person who graduated college two years back, the biggest mistake I seem to have made while studying was the fact that I did not befriend my professors. When you have a good relationship with your professors, things become easy not only in class but outside of it as well. They have a lot of information that can help you to get ahead of the game. They can also be there if you need an understanding ear or help finding various resources for school, as well as mental and physical health.
Here are some tips which will help you improve your relationship with your teachers:
Right after your fist class, go up to the professor and introduce yourself by telling your name and adding that you are excited to learn new things about the subject by the concerned teacher. It will take some time for the professor to associate your name with your face but it will happen soon. Keep in mind that they have a lot of students studying under them so you need to give them time.
As mentioned above, you can help your case immensely by looking excited in the subject and being taught by the specific teacher. A professor can notice disinterest in the behaviour of his/her student by the way they behave in the class. Avoid using your mobile and looking sleepy while the professor is teaching because it is highly disrespectful behaviour towards the teacher.
Asking questions is directly associated with attentiveness and interest in the minds of a teacher. Your queries prove that you are curious to know more and that's all a teacher wants. By doing so, you will also help other students who will understand things from a new perspective. However, avoid asking questions like: Will this be on the test? Could you repeat what you just said for the past 15 minutes? because it will surely annoy the professor.
Continue discussion outside the class
Talking about matters discussed in the class can fetch you brownie points as in the mind of the teacher you would become a student who is not studying merely to get marks but also to better understand the subject. The best time to so this during the office hours but you can also send e-mails afterwards if you are shy and think you might interrupt the teacher during that time.
Professors have a special liking for students who take the initiative and step up to bat when they announce a debate or a group assignment. This puts a positive impression on them proving that you are someone who has courage to take up new challenges without fearing the failure.
Ask them about their inclinations
Without getting too personal, ask your professor why they chose this career and what motivated them to impart knowledge. It will also help your case to take interest in their research topics. No one usually asks them about their research and it would fill them with joy to find out that you are interested in what they are doing outside class. In turn, you will also learn about many things which will help you in the pursuit of getting quality education.
Take professor's attention towards relevant events
If you come across something which is related to your course and can potentially benefit the class in the newspaper or a book, make sure to bring it to your professor's notice. They will like your interest towards the subject and willingness to help the class. They will also try to get themselves acquainted with the matter and will be thankful to you for your active participation.
Congratulate your professor
Like all other people, professors like their work to be recognized and their achievements, appreciated. If you get to know about any of their accomplishments, be courteous enough to extend best wishes to them. This is something you should do anyway, without expecting any advantage.
Thank your professor
A sorry and thank you can go a long way in making your case in front of the professor, or anyone for that matter. You might not realize it but a lot of things your professors do, like making special appointments to help with papers, answering E-mails on evenings and weekends, giving extensions and makeup exams and providing help with picking other courses in the department, are out of willingness and not obligation. Be kind and thank them for doing these things for the class. This will make the teacher remember you, beside obviously leaving them happier and more gratified.
A teacher does a lot to make us learn important academic and non-academic lessons. Don't approach them only when you need a favour in form of letter of recommendation or good grades. Try to be good throughout the semester and be well mannered around them as this is the least you can do.