Professors actually like when students reach out and communicate. So don’t hesitate to ask, because missing a class in college is nothing like missing a class in high school . There’s no more convenient color-coded and bedazzled “make-up folder” waiting for you when you return.
Speak Their Language
Some students may think, “Oh I don’t want to bug my professor, I will just talk to one of my classmates,” communications professor Barry Solomon said. He prefers when students confront him about missing class instead of asking another student so there is no confusion. “But students are often reluctant to contact their teachers and they feel more comfortable getting this information from their friends and classmates. While this might be easier, it often results in incomplete or incorrect information,” Solomon said.
The type of language you should use when speaking to your professor should always be professional. Address the email with their first and last name, politely ask what was covered in class, and make sure to thank them at the end of the email for their help. End it with an appropriate salutation and your name. That is all. Make sure to mention the exact date that you missed so the professor is not wondering which Thursday it was that you slept through all three of your alarms.
No Ones Cares About Your Life Story
You don’t have to explain how you got sick, missed the bus, or just flat out wanted to take an extended nap. They don’t care. Professors are just as busy as we are. If possible, contact the professor beforehand and that way you will realize if that pre-planned nap you wanted to take will be worth missing class.
“I once let a professor know I was missing an exam day in the beginning of the semester, and since it was so far in advance he excused me from his rule of no make-up exams,” sophomore Barbara Engel said. It is an extreme advantage to give the professor a fair warning in advance if possible.
Politely Ask For an Extension
Manners matter. Always. The tried and true method for requesting an assignment extension is through being polite. Professors are not going to say no as long as you give them a fair warning. Stephen MacNamara, a media law professor, explained that he prefers to be contacted through email prior to the class the student will be missing. “Over the years some of the excuses offered are so outlandish and bizarre I just ask for as much prior notice as they can give me and they don’t need to tell me their reasons,” MacNamara said. By contacting them ahead of time, you are respecting your professor’s busy life.
Josh Hendrickse, a graduate student at Florida State University is just as understanding when it comes to assignment extensions. “Just send me an email. I love getting reasons with specifics because I will be able to empathize. Not getting an email at all is the worst,” Hendrickse said.
No matter the reason, just shoot your professor an email about missing class. As long as it’s in advance, quick to the point and polite you should have no problem making up the work.