A good student can really “make the class” for a professor. You figure, we spend hours preparing for the class and grading papers that range from superb to …well, you don’t want to know. Some of us are adjuncts, which literally means “add on” professors. We have excellent educations but the school we teach for doesn’t have any openings for full time professors or simply does want to pay the higher (make that, much higher) pay scale or pay the benefits that hiring us full time would require.
So, we work for a lot less money than we could make in private industry and we accept that. Why? Because we love what we do. We feel that teaching is a vocation, not a job. You may make more money than we do, even if we have four degrees more than you currently hold.
What does this have to do with getting along with the professor or getting into trouble? It’s simple. After I have worked and slaved over your paper to give you feedback that I hope will help you, don’t clobber me with a bad review at the end of the term. Don’t call or email my boss and tell him or her what a lousy job I am doing and how you hope I will be pushing up daisies soon. I will hear about it and it won’t endear you to me for the rest of the semester. You will immediately and forever more be on my “naughty” list.
Instead, try to understand why I gave the feedback I gave. Email me with nice comments that seek to reach out and understand. When I have gotten an email that is kind, I am more likely to go back and re-visit the grade I gave you than I would be if you yell at me or try to tank my reputation.
Keep in mind: I am not doing this for the money. I am doing it to help you.