How To Avoid Conflicts With Your Professors

the guy in a tiger sweater is talking to his professor

There are only two things that can derail a student’s chances for educational success. The first is the failure to hand in assignments on time, and the second is potential conflicts with your professor.

The former is easily solved with effective time management skills or resources that will assist a student with completing their coursework. The latter, however, can be far more challenging to resolve.

What Causes Conflict With A Professor

A conflict with your professor can have devastating effects on your mental health as well as your grades. Common reasons that students run into conflict with their professors include:

  • Failure to hand in coursework on time
  • Failure to come to class
  • Rude or Threatening Behavior
  • Incompatible Teaching-To-Learning Styles

In addition to these common reasons, students with anxiety or neurological disorders may find it difficult to approach their teacher with their condition as a reason for being unable to complete the requirements of a course. These worries can lead to reduced communication with your professor, and in turn, increase the risk of conflict.

When students find themselves in a conflict situation with their professor or near conflict, several steps can be taken to diffuse potential issues and ensure educational success.

Starting A Dialogue

Your professor may be unaware of any potential conflicts regarding their teaching methods or homework requirements. Therefore, opening a dialogue about any issues you may be experiencing is a good place to start when resolving or avoiding any potential conflicts with your professor.

The goal of a teacher is to educate students, and assisting in ensuring complete comprehension is part of that job. A dialogue with a teacher or professor can give you both the opportunity to discuss helpful strategies that encourage your success without violating a professor’s specific classroom policies.

Often professors have office hours dedicated to helping students with their courses. This is an ideal time to confront your professor in an environment designed for communication. Remember to start your sentences with “I feel” or “I think” rather than pointing blame at your professor with accusatory comments.

Most conflicts can be resolved or avoided with a conversation about the issues you are experiencing in the classroom. If you have met with your teacher and could not find a resolution or found that a dialogue exacerbated a conflict, then taking your grievances to a higher level is the next step.

Contact The Administration

Every educational institution has particular organizations designed to help students experiencing issues in the classroom or with their coursework. Assistance with avoiding any potential conflicts with your professor is among those services. In addition to mediation in the event of a conflict with your professor, a high school or university also offers:

  • Academic Accommodations – If you are worried that you might run into conflicts with your professor because of a physical or mental disability that would keep you from following classroom guidelines, then consider registering for academic accommodations. These accommodations involve tailoring your academic obligations to meet your unique needs. This can mean extra time to complete homework, private areas for finishing tests, and additional time to make it to class.
  • Virtual Courses – If physically being in the presence of your professor is putting you at further risk of conflict, consider registering for the same course online. Often online classes are done at a student’s pace and don’t require face-to-face interactions with a professor.

  • Drop-A-Class – Often, educational institutions will allow students to drop a class to avoid any potential conflicts with a professor’s teaching method. The same course taught by a professor whose methods match your learning style can be a great way to avoid conflict with your professors.

These steps will allow students to take control of their academic careers and ensure no conflict with their professors. Failing to take the necessary steps to avoid or resolve a dispute with your professor can keep you from earning a good grade, or even worse, disqualify you from obtaining a degree.

Things To Remember

Many students do not realize that a professor does not have unlimited flexibility when it comes to grading or class requirements. And much like students must meet deadlines to pass their courses, professors must also adhere to deadlines to fulfill their contractual obligations. Because of this, frequent communication is often the best way to avoid or resolve any conflicts with a professor.

Additionally, the following tips will ensure that conflict is easily avoided or resolved:

  • Don’t make assumptions. Your professor is there to help you succeed, even if it doesn’t always feel that way.
  • Be Punctual. A teacher can’t help you if you don’t help yourself. Remember to hand in coursework on time and arrive at class 5 mins before it begins.
  • Always be respectful. Never speak aggressively towards your professor. Using crude or foul language in an attempt to place blame solely on your professor is the fastest way to create conflict. Here is our blog post that will help you write an email to your professor in a polite a respectful manner.

Learning should be fun. Trust that your professor is there to help you on your journey to earning your degree and getting your dream job.

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