The Chatty Professor Blog

A tenured professor of Communication Studies helps students correctly–not cluelessly–speak/deal with those who teach them. The outcome? Better student-prof relationships, improved grades, and confident and competent communication skills for college and beyond. The opinions expressed are my own or those of commenters. All student situations described are real (at least one term old to protect current students); identifiers have been omitted and carefully disguised to protect student privacy.

“All I Want is to Accomplish My Dreams… Yet I’m Constantly Facing Huge Roadblocks.”

Posted by on Jan 24, 2013 in Communicating with Professors, General, General College Success/Responses to Other College Entities, Interpersonal Communication | 15 comments

“All I Want is to Accomplish My Dreams… Yet I’m Constantly Facing Huge Roadblocks.”

(“They drive into the parking lot with a dream. We are all a part of that dream.” These words were spoken at 2000 Darton College Opening Week by my former college president Dr. Peter Sireno. I was a wide-eyed new prof, believing, just like my students, that college is a ticket to dreams coming true. I still perceive college as a gateway to more confidence and competence. But I know now that on the way to a student’s dream, someone or something within a college or class can suddenly tear everything down. Maybe even the...

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“Help! I’m Only Graded on Multiple-Choice Tests!”: How to Survive and What to Say

Posted by on Jan 15, 2013 in Communicating with Professors, General, Interpersonal Communication | 0 comments

“Help! I’m Only Graded on Multiple-Choice Tests!”: How to Survive and What to Say

(Quick programming note! I’m on #InternPro radio tonight at 6 p.m. PST. The topic is important: The Soft Skills Gap and the Young Careerist. I have TONS of thoughts and tips! Call in: (347) 843-4970. Now on to business: I promised that I’d cover inquiries I received toward the end of 2012. Here is a very universal problem: Grades that are comprised by nothing more than multiple-choice tests! Ugh! Let’s discuss it… As always, please… everyone jump into the comments! What are your thoughts? What did I miss?)...

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Why You Fell Just Short of Perfection And Got the Wrong ‘A’. What To Say When You Do.

Posted by on Jan 8, 2013 in Communicating with Professors, General, Interpersonal Communication | 16 comments

Why You Fell Just Short of Perfection And Got the Wrong ‘A’. What To Say When You Do.

(Happy 2013, my fantastic blog audience! I am back and can’t wait to interact with all of you! As students return to school, some are rebounding from grade goals that weren’t quite met. I struggled with my return topic because this post–“You Failed Your Class… Now What?” –from 2011 on the old Blogger site had over 2,000 hits in a two week period. I worry about so many students concerned about failing grades. I promise to cover that topic further in many upcoming posts. Let’s start on the opposite...

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Farewell for Now, Updates, and What’s to Come in 2013

Posted by on Dec 21, 2012 in General, Interpersonal Communication | 10 comments

Farewell for Now, Updates, and What’s to Come in 2013

To my incredible blog audience, I finally concluded my term and then realized that I was in some pretty big need of decompression. I wanted to write a note to say farewell for 2012 and to express my tremendous appreciation to you for being with me through this past year. I started The Chatty Professor in April 2011. During 2012, particularly in recent months, 3,000 – 4,000 visitors per month seemed to be finding their way over. I have no idea from any kind of analytics perspective if that is good, bad, or indifferent, but the thought...

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Before You Demand What You Believe You Deserve, Ask Yourself These Questions

Posted by on Dec 4, 2012 in Communicating with Professors, General, Interpersonal Communication | 29 comments

Before You Demand What You Believe You Deserve, Ask Yourself These Questions

(End of term craziness is here! My last post involved students talking to their professors about grades before the end of a term. This post reflects the next stage of that conversation. I have to believe that some of this advice translates to workplace evaluations, too). Can you feel an uprising afoot? I’m not talking about lingering sourness from those dissatisfied with national or local election results. I’m talking about students who are calculating/seeing their final grades and thinking (in a huge huff!), “I don’t...

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Mini-Post: The College Conversation That I Hope Parents & Students Will Have This Thanksgiving

Posted by on Nov 21, 2012 in Communicating with Professors, General | 6 comments

Mini-Post: The College Conversation That I Hope Parents & Students Will Have This Thanksgiving

To all my treasured blog readers, I hope you have a magnificent holiday! I wish you all abundance. I was thinking about all of the students who will be visiting home or even speaking to their parents from afar during these next few days. Inevitably, this seemingly benign, but potentially charged question will arise: “How’s college going?” or “How are your classes?” Now if college is going great, then a wonderful discussion, right? (Too fuzzy?). If things aren’t going so well, then the conversation could...

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Good News: One Prof Apologized; Bad News: Another Answers E-mails on Mondays and Thursdays

Posted by on Nov 15, 2012 in Communicating with Professors, General, Interpersonal Communication | 6 comments

Good News: One Prof Apologized; Bad News: Another Answers E-mails on Mondays and Thursdays

I’m going to jump right into this post… It will take a couple of twists and turns, so hold on to your handrails. First, so honored to share this #STNT review that will only be available publicly by Teachers College Record (Columbia University) for a limited time before it goes password-protected. Message me for an exam copy of #STNT if your college would like one! Now, an inspiring update about the student who was upset over abrupt e-mails from the professor: “Ellen, I appreciate your response. I feel reassured that I had a...

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When Rude E-mail Responses Shut You Down, Say This to Get Back to Work

Posted by on Nov 13, 2012 in Communicating with Professors, General, Interpersonal Communication | 13 comments

When Rude E-mail Responses Shut You Down, Say This to Get Back to Work

(I’m checking on the student who missed three weeks of class to see if they met with the professor. I’ll update as soon as I know, but I hope there is a favorable outcome. Here is a recent write-in that I’m also escalating because as the term closes in on all of us, e-mails between student and professor become more abundant. It’s easy for curtness to become the norm… even when that may not be the intent. Here we go…) Ellen, I am taking a class where I don’t feel like I e-mail the instructor much at...

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Students, If You Are Facing This Situation, Run and See Your Professor NOW!

Posted by on Nov 2, 2012 in Communicating with Professors, General, Interpersonal Communication | 10 comments

Students, If You Are Facing This Situation, Run and See Your Professor NOW!

(I hit a grading wall and there went my blogging rhythm this week! Quick news that made me feel very honored: Say This, NOT That received its first peer-reviewed journal nod from The National Academic Advising Association: “…should be required reading for first year seminars and campus orientation classes.” Yay!!!!! Here is the full review and if your campus would like an exam copy, message me at chattyprof@gmail.com and I’ll send word to my publisher. Now, on to today’s post: The NACADA review discusses the...

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Part 2: “Some Professors Suck!” – Being New and Only Using The Book

Posted by on Oct 26, 2012 in General | 2 comments

Part 2: “Some Professors Suck!” – Being New and Only Using The Book

I’ll dive in and continue our discussion that we started the other day by the parent and the student about a) why some professors seemingly refuse to help; and b) why some professors suck sometimes. I received some great comments on that post and here are some comments from Twitter: From @Joeymom: As a prof, I agree. Some profs suck at teaching. Many are trained in their field, but have zero training in education. From @PopoagieForever: This is sometimes true and sometimes a sign of a lazy or unqualified student. From @CatalyzedLeader:...

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