There are many times throughout high school when you will benefit from meeting with your teachers in office hours, including when you have questions about class content, are confused about practice problems or readings, or want to review a paper or exam. Attending office hours, whether in person or online, can give you valuable time to better understand your class content and your teachers expectations and can have a big impact on your academic success. Office hours can also be an opportunity to get to know your instructor or teaching assistant better, especially in online courses and in larger courses.
At a large university such as UNC, many courses are significantly larger than high school classes, and most professors do not have as many opportunities to interact with or get to know students personally as high school teachers do. These differences can make it difficult to connect with your teachers or feel confident approaching them in class or office hours.This handout discusses why, when, and how to effectively use office hours to maximize your success in high school.
Reasons to attend office hours?
Clarify and ask questions about course content. If you are confused about class material, ask your professor to explain it differently or walk through it slowly with you. Ask questions that you have about the text or what has been covered learned in class. Get study ideas, There are many strategies that can be used for any class, but some subjects have specific strategies that work particularly well for that class. Your professor may have tips about ways to tailor your studying towards that particular class.
Ask questions about the syllabus, upcoming assignments, and due dates. After carefully reading the syllabus and any assignment prompts, confirm important dates and information with your professor if you are still not certain about them.Prepare for an upcoming assignment. Many assignments will require you to practice new and developing skills. If you have an upcoming project or paper, office hours can be an appropriate place to discuss your ideas and your instructor’s expectations.Review an exam or a paper you wrote. Many students do not do as well as they expected on papers and exams at least once in college.
Office hours is an appropriate setting to talk about what you did wrong, what went well, and how to improve on your next paper or exam.Talk about grades. If you are unhappy with your grade or have questions about why your grade is what it is, office hours are the appropriate place to talk about it.Work through practice problems. Ask your teacher to go step by step through practice problems with you and verify the correct answers. If you are having trouble solving them correctly, use this time to ask your teacher to show you where you are making errors.
Before going to office hours …Be respectful, Arrive on time and introduce yourself if you have never met the professor personally. Address the teacher by his or her last name with the appropriate title.sk for clarification. If you are confused or not following your teacher explanation, don’t be afraid to ask him or her to repeat the information or restate it differently. It can also be helpful to try and repeat back what the professor is saying to check for understanding. Ask to work through a few more problems if you are still having trouble solving them.
Be honest. Speak up if you aren’t following or need more examples.
Ask about supplemental readings or resources that may help.
I went along and interviewed a teacher that ive personally had office hours with and my very first question was if she felt office hours were beneficial? her answer was “yes , it is beneficial for students who take advantage of it and it also gives teachers a chance to interact with students. I wish we could have office hours all the time so we can get comfortable getting personal with our students.” which is very understandable. I also asked her if she believe students would come to office hours if they were on campus and her response was “ no they wouldn’t, probably 12 graders because they are more eager to complete school but once most students leave they don’t come back.” and i obviously agree because as a 12th grader i know i wouldnt come either.