Staying Engaged with Your Professors in the New Normal: Utilizing Virtual Office Hours
Let’s face it: things might feel different right now. Not only are you no longer sitting in a classroom and seeing your law school classmates, but you also aren’t able to pop into your professor’s office to ask a quick question. It may feel like your professors aren’t as accessible because you can’t see them face-to-face. However, know that we are here virtually and we want to see and hear from you! When I am in my office, my door is always open, and students pop in all of the time (something I really am missing right now). As we adjust to the new normal, there are ways to replicate your in-person experience with your professors.
Especially during this time, it’s important to attend any virtual office hours your professors have. If they don’t have set times where students can meet with them virtually, be sure to ask for electronic meetings when you want them. Let’s run through why you should attend office hours virtually.
Gain A Better understanding
Office hours are a place where you can ask your professors questions to better understand course content and your professor’s expectation. Don’t let this resource and this avenue for information stop now that your class is virtual!
Building Your Network.
Your professors are your first professional legal connections you make when you’re in law school. Meeting with them and interacting with them is important to your legal professional development. You may need to use a professor as a reference for employment or have them write a letter of recommendation for you. Further, a professor could connect you to great internship and post-graduate opportunities. Keep communication open with them and keep them in your network!
In a time where we are social distancing and our personal connections are limited, attending virtual office hours is another opportunity to foster personal connections. Your professors want to see and talk to you, and they would love to hear from you, just like when you pop in their office or walk by and wave.
If you’re not sure what to talk to your professors about, here are some ideas!
Continue a class discussion you had with them one-on-one about something you either need clarification on, or something you just find interesting!
When you’re attending class, write down questions you have as they come up, so you have a series of questions to ask your professors.
Write out an answer to a practice question or hypothetical and bring it to your professor to discuss.
Give your professor your feedback on how online teaching and learning is going. Professors are always looking for ways to make the online experience optimal for students.
One of the best parts of our job is getting to know our students. That experience and personal connection can continue through virtual office hours and interactions. So, go see your professors, because they would love to hear from you!
(Fynn, Professor Raposa’s Pup, Is Always Excited For Virtual Office Hours)