How to stop your teachers thinking you're a slacker

Teacher thinking

Need to get into your teachers’ good books before they start predicting grades? Here’s how to do it

It's easy to get off to a dodgy start to year 12. A-level exams seem a long way off, no uniform, chilled teachers, free periods, less rigid policing of homework, Suddenly it all seems a bit more…relaxed. 

So you might miss a homework or two, be absent when there's a test, not watch the video tutorial you were asked to – suddenly you find teachers getting irritated, complaints being made and predicted grades dropping like a stone.

How can you get your work back on track? How can you begin to impress your teachers and turn those negative perceptions into positive predictions?

Here's how.

Get the basics right

Simple and obvious. Get to your lessons and get to them on time. Do the homework and do it properly. Make the notes you need to. Revise when you have a test. 

Not rocket science but these are the essentials of being a good student and this is where to start.

If you can turn it around, your teachers won't hold it against you that you had a slow start to the A-level course, and they will be happy to predict the higher grades.


Be positive

Get all your stuff out without being asked, smile and look like you're ready to start the lesson.

Remind yourself why you chose these subjects - there's almost certainly some good reasons. Tell yourself you're going to enjoy your lessons; strangely you'll find that they actually do become more enjoyable.

Set your mind to it and think positively while working hard and success will come to you.


Get involved

Try to answer some questions, even if you're not certain about the answer. And join in discussions - you will actually learn from the interaction between yourself and other members of the class.

We had a discussion on what we should do to try and boost our grades. I'm happy we got to do this because it showed me what I still need to revise. 


Aim to improve

Make sure you know how the course is assessed - what skills and knowledge are required and how the exams are structured.

Be more aware of the quality of your work - look at your teachers' comments. What are you getting right and where can you improve?

If you're not sure how to improve, ask your teacher.

Find out what went wrong, learn from your mistakes and brush yourself off, you'll be prepared for the next step. 


Do a bit more

Just a bit. Watch a relevant video; follow up on something your teacher mentioned; repeat a piece of work that you screwed up.

Make sure you let your teacher know that you've done some extra work - they'll love it.

My teacher didn't want to increase my predicted grades, as no previous student at my school had got higher than a B. In the end, I managed to convince him, in exchange for doing extra homework every week.

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