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I am in the final year of my Engineering degree but still find greeting my teachers difficult.

It happens whenever I am on my way to college, when I have to walk from the Hostel to Campus, which takes around 15 minutes. Usually the teacher and I will be walking on the same path. I always notice people around me, so I will give them a glance. Sometimes, they look and sometimes they don't. I try to say good morning but many teachers won't reply back, this makes me feel awkward. I feel like my voice is not audible in some situations (my friends usually say such things when teachers won't respond me). This has caused me to not greet them unless the teacher speak themselves many times.

What is the etiquette for greeting teachers when crossing their path on the campus?

I would appreciate your valuable suggestions.

  • What if they don't reciprocate the same way? I smile if they see me and try to greet but many times I don't get reply back. It will be like eye contact for very few microseconds and before I could say something it is over. – BJKShah Sep 24 '19 at 14:27
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Prof K. in a lab course when I was sick, helped a lot in getting me to appropriate resting room and then keeping a check after medications and in the make-up(recovery) lab. Turns out he is good at remembering faces. Now whenever I am having some coffee etc., and he arrives in a group, I just smile and lower my head a little(not exactly turning it downwards, just shifting it low 1). He also smiles and nods back. I don't feel a need to say something if he is not expecting it, particularly when he is in a group.

If he's walking alone and we're walking towards each other, I slow down, make eye contact, smile and say the appropriate greetings depending on the time of the day. I try to keep a distance as, if done from close, it might startle them and they would have to look back to see your face and it gets awkward for both. If you feel your voice is low, you can combine verbal and the nod part. The professor might at least see the nod and if habitual of that thing, may reply in a nod, which is a reply to both of the things.

If you're behind him, it would require you to have a better relationship with the professor or a nice topic(academic or otherwise) if you're thinking about small talk while overtaking them. I usually just stay behind, change paths/lanes, etc.

For the professors I never personally talked to, I assume that they're not expecting a greeting. It's a common thing to mind one's own business and they're habitual of being treated normally outside the classrooms(assuming they are a long-time professor.).

1: Please add a term for that if you know

  • I would be minding my own business for most of the time, that should be good – BJKShah Sep 25 '19 at 11:05
  • Did I discourage you? I didn't want to.. Some professors are very good to talk to. – ankii Sep 25 '19 at 17:22
  • No I will be more cautious now . I will follow your advice. Thank you. – BJKShah Sep 25 '19 at 18:47

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