Five ways to impress your new teachers

Teacher

It’s always worth getting on with your teachers. It might just make them that little bit more willing to help you catch up if you’ve been away and forgiving if you miss the occasional homework. 

So how can you make a great first impression? Turns out it's absolutely nothing to do with how clever you are.

Us teachers are actually pretty easy people to please. We like enthusiastic students who participate and concentrate in class and who aren’t frightened to get things wrong occasionally.

Here are five ways students will impress me during the first weeks of a course. None are difficult but only a small number of students will actually press all these teacher-pleasing buttons.

1. Being positive

You’d probably rather be somewhere else than in the lesson. It’s almost certain your teacher would too. But you’re together for the next hour or so get on with it and try to enjoy the experience. Show you have a positive attitude: don’t slump on the desk, place your bag in front of you like a barrier or stare blankly out the window. Get out everything you need for the lesson before you’re told and establish some eye contact with the teacher to show you’re ready to learn, however miserable you may feel inside.

2. Joining in

No, you don’t need to answer every question and butt in with clever comments – that’s just annoying for everyone. If you are asked a question, have a go at answering it, if you’re asked for an opinion, have one; if you have a question, ask it. Listen to other students’ answers and build on them if you can. This way you learn more and the lesson is more interesting.

3. Being on time for lessons

The lesson is set to begin at a particular time. Be there, ready, at that time. It’s dispiriting for a teacher if students wander in after the scheduled start of the lesson. Even more annoying if the lesson has already started and is interrupted by late arrivals.

4. Doing homework

To be honest, you’re not likely to do well by simply sitting in all the lessons and then cramming frantically for a week before the exams. You need to put in time outside the lessons, checking that you understand what’s been covered and preparing for what’s going to be taught next. Usually homework is about just these things so it’s worth doing. I know it can be annoying if the teacher doesn’t mark it or fails to collect it in but really the point is for you to learn, not to just put another tick in their markbook.

5. Appreciating our efforts

No, teachers don’t need a card, chocolates or cheap perfume. But they have just tried to teach you something that may just help you get the grade you need so badly. A quick ‘thanks’ or even a smile as you leave the room will brighten any teacher’s day.

There. It’s all very obvious and doesn’t require much effort at all. Go on – be impressive!

Do you do any or all of these things? Do you think it's important for a teacher to like you?

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