5 Foolproof Ways to Impress Your New Teacher
You are a high school junior who is ready to ask for a college recommendation, you need a reference to list on your first job application, you need someone to explain that new concept to you one more time, or you’re having the worst.day.ever and you just need someone to cut you a break. Who are you going to ask? Your teacher. But will your teacher help you out?
There are a lot of factors at play in all of these situations. Teachers have limited time in and outside of class and sometimes one-on-one interactions have to take a back seat. But if the teacher has a positive impression of you, they are more likely to help you out.
And that doesn’t mean that you’re the best student in the class. In fact, years later I usually can’t tell you who was the best student in a class, but I can remember the students who I thought were kind, reliable, and hard working.
After taking a VERY scientific poll of teachers (meaning not scientific at all), here are ways to make a good first impression this school year.
5 Ways to Impress Your Teacher
Be on time.
Seriously, this is basic. You need to be in the classroom when class starts. And not just speeding in before the bell stops ringing. Like in your seat with your supplies out. If you walk in late (repeatedly), your teachers are way less likely to stick out their necks for you.
Pro Tip: If you need to run to your locker or bathroom, drop your stuff in the classroom and ask your teacher if it’s ok. Click To Tweet
Ugh, I had one student who asked to borrow a pencil and paper EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. What happened to the pencil I gave him the day before? He had no idea. Not a good impression.
Just show up to class with a pencil and your notebook. If you’ve forgotten them, you can ask around but keep it quiet. The entire class doesn’t need to know that you need a piece of paper.
Finish your work.
As a teacher, I quickly learned to stop giving kids time to start their homework in class. Why? Because so many kids wouldn’t use that time for work – they used it to talk to the friends or hop on their phones. “I’m going to do it at home.” Only they didn’t.
The students who regularly completed and turned in their work were my rock stars. It didn’t always have to be great. It just needed to be turned in. And no surprise, they had higher grades as well.
And not about going to the bathroom or when the assembly is. Questions about the content. Or ask for clarification. I LOVED when kids asked questions about the topic we were studying, making connections between history and today or their own experiences. That type of deep thought helped everyone in the classroom.
If you need help, PLEASE ask for it. The kids who asked for help (and stayed after for it) did so much better. Also, I was willing to spend a lot more time and energy on them. You don’t have to ask in front of the whole class; just go up to their desk or ask when the teacher is walking around the room. Heck, kids even e-mailed me questions.
Nice kids are the best. The best. Teachers notice how kids treat each other; we know who the mean girls and guys are.
And don’t forget to the be kind to your teachers. Talk to your teacher like she is a human being. Because she is. Ask about her weekend, her favorite band, or what she ate for breakfast. Yes, it’s just small talk, but it can go a long way to making the day better for your teacher.
BONUS – Turn in a decent summer assignment.
If you have a summer assignment for the class, please complete it. And edit it a few times. You would not believe that trash that students turned into me as summer assignments. Work that was not even spell-checked, covered with typos, and not even finished.
Your summer assignment is the teacher’s first impression of you and those impressions are hard to shake. Plus, it’s your first grade of the year. Do yourself a favor and make it a good grade!
Can I guarantee that your teacher will adore you? No, I can’t. But you greatly increase your chances by following these tips.