Worried your teacher isn’t your biggest fan? There are lots of things you can do to fix the situation – and they don’t necessarily involve having to get higher grades
If you have an inkling that your teacher doesn’t have the best impression of you, don’t feel defeated. Pete Langley, a former teacher with more than 30 years of experience, has put together a few common pitfalls to help you figure out why your teacher might feel that way and given some advice on how you could fix things.
It’s worth remembering that you don’t have to be getting the highest marks to be a good student (although if you follow this advice you might see your grades taking a natural boost). Rather, the more you seem interested, alert and willing to work, the better an impression you’ll create. Keep this in mind and you should have your teacher back on side in no time.
Are you ever late (even just a little bit)?
We’ve all been there – hitting snooze on the alarm just one more time until suddenly you only have ten minutes to take a shower, get dressed and bolt out the door.
Sadly, no matter how relatable it is, students being late is a big pet peeve for teachers. And ‘being late’ doesn’t necessarily mean strolling into school halfway through the day, either. Even if you’re only late by a few minutes a couple of times a week, it can still be really disruptive for teachers to have to keep repeating themselves to stragglers at the beginning of a lesson.
Sit down and figure out how long you realistically need for your morning routine in order to leave the house on time, then set your alarm accordingly. If there’s anything you can get ready the night before – like packing your bag or making sure you have a clean outfit ready to wear – do it to buy yourself some more time.
And if your bus or train always gets you to school a little bit late, start catching one that runs early instead.
Do you get your homework in on time?
Juggling lots of sets of different homework can feel like a real pain, and the temptation to just ignore it until you’re really up against the deadline is very understandable.
But handing work in late or sloppily rushing your assignments gives your teacher the impression that you just don’t care – which isn’t going to warm them to you as a student.
Keep track of all your homework. Get a decent diary to record what’s due when, and block out the time to get it done properly. You could even use our study planner to create a homework timetable.
Do you look like you’re interested in class?
If you spend the whole class slumped miserably over your desk, alternating between staring out of the window and at your mobile phone, your teacher is going to notice. Acting disengaged and uninterested in the lesson is likely to give your teacher a bad impression, because you’ll seem like you don’t want to learn.
When you’re in class, sit up in your chair and look like you’re ready to start working. Get your textbook and pens out before the lesson starts so you’re ready to go.
When the lesson begins, make it obvious that you’re concentrating. Keep eye contact with your teacher and make sure your phone is packed away so you won’t be tempted to keep sneakily checking it every five minutes.
And if you regularly find yourself drawn into whispered conversations with friends sitting nearby, perhaps consider moving to sit next to someone less likely to distract you.
You could prove your interest in a subject by doing a bit of reading outside of the lessons. For example, you could take a look at some news websites and see if there’s anything relevant happening that you could mention to your teacher during class.
If you want to, speak to your teacher
Once you’ve figured out what you need to improve, and if you feel confident enough to do it, you might want to speak to your teacher. If you decide to do this, you could let them know that you’re aware you’ve given a bad impression but you’re taking steps to fix it and that you’d love feedback on how you’re doing.
If that feels too scary, don’t worry about it – make these little adjustments with the aim of being an alert, interested and willing student and your teacher should hopefully take notice by themselves.