Making your teacher happy serves many purposes, and demands something in return – it makes school go more smoothly, it makes your family pleased and proud and ultimately it makes attaining what you want in life easier. But it also means putting in the time and effort to learn and thoughtfully apply the things you’ve been taught in class. It requires remembering that a simple smile in passing goes a long way. And that certain behaviors will gain you no favors with your teachers. Follow these guidelines, and you’ll be a student your teacher genuinely enjoys having in class!
Coming to Class Prepared
Attend your classes on time. While being on time is important every day, being seated before class starts on the first day is exactly the first impression you want to make to your teacher! It shows that you’re responsible, respectful and punctual. Make sure you do what’s necessary to get to class on time that first day and every one thereafter. If you need to set your alarm a ½ hour earlier in the morning to make sure you have plenty of time to get ready, do that. If it’s adding more books to your backpack so you don’t get sidetracked talking to your friends at the lockers, do that. Teachers do not look kindly upon interruptions during class.
- Use the restroom between classes, so you don’t need to excuse yourself once class has started.
- You want to be in your seat with everything out of your bag and ready in front of you before class starts. Allow the time you need for this.
Bring all the required materials to class. Whether it’s an art class requiring certain brushes and paints or a math class requiring a protractor, make sure that when you enter the classroom door you have everything you need. It shows your teacher that you’re taking the class seriously. Not having everything you need leaves a less-than-stellar impression, and it takes up class time in borrowing or sharing with someone else.
- Never forget to bring the obvious things like pens, pencils and the right books.
- Use a 3-ring binder with dividers for different subjects to help keep things organized.
- If you can’t afford something you need for the class, ask to talk with your teacher about it after class or at another time. Your teacher will do his or her best to help.
Complete your homework and reading before class. Turning in assignments when they’re due is essential.Turning in assignments that demonstrate you took your time by being neat and legible, that you read the assigned material and that you exercised your brain in completing your work? That’s the difference between an “A” and a “B-” or “C” and will make your teacher pleased, seeing that you are responsible, have a good work ethic and care about your performance.
- It also allows you to follow along in class better and to ask questions you may have had while reading ahead.
- If you have poor handwriting, type assignments and papers as much as possible. The easier you make your assignments and papers to read, the better! Remember – your teacher has a whole stack, just for your class. Making it easy to get through is to your advantage.
Study for tests. Going along with being responsible in your homework and reading, you also need to be well prepared for tests. Studying for tests regularly almost always results in higher grades. And good grades are good for you all around. Students have different test study habits and methods. Figure out the best ones for you and put them to good use.
- If you’re not in a study group, consider asking others you know in class if they’d like to form one. A good study group should have about 3-5 members. If it’s too large, it can get loud and confusing.
- Cramming for tests generally results in lower overall grades.You pump your brain with information, but it’s only stored in spotty, short-term memory.
Get a good night’s rest. One of the reasons cramming for tests isn’t very effective is because students who cram typically do not get enough sleep the night before an exam. The general rule of thumb is that those between 5-9 years old need 10-11 hours of sleep per night, and those between 10-18 years old need 8½-9½ hours of sleep per night to perform well in school. College students should get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Getting enough sleep will make your work higher-quality and your time spent more efficiently. You also won’t find yourself nodding off in class, which doesn’t impress teachers.
- Going to bed with your laptop, smart phone or TV on is a bad idea. Research shows it makes getting to sleep much harder.
- Also avoid caffeine products, such as soda, coffee and chocolate, for several hours before going to bed. It can take 6 hours for caffeine to leave your system, often making it hard to fall asleep.
Learn something extra. Teachers often feel both excited and that they’re doing a good job when a student takes the initiative to learn more about the topics being studied in class. If you find something cool online about the Argentine horned frog, for instance, that relates to a class discussion on amphibians, print off the article and give it to your teacher the next time class meets.
- Ultimately, your teachers want you to learn. That’s what makes them most happy.
Gaining Your Teacher’s Approval in Class
Be respectful in and out of class. From passing your teacher in the hall and saying, respectively, “Hello, Mr. James,” to a smile at him upon entering his classroom, pleasant manners are fundamental and necessary if you want your teacher to like you. A huge component of respecting your teacher is listening to your teacher. You are there to learn, and your teacher is there to teach. Also make sure to use good manners with other students by not interrupting them, or by being sarcastic or putting them down.
- ”Please,” “thank you” and “excuse me” are appropriate signs of respect at any
- When your teacher is teaching to the class or directly speaking to you, maintain eye contact. It shows you are listening, interested and engaged. It’s a compliment to your teacher.
Follow directions. Directions in school are either instructions regarding how to do something or they’re rules. You want to follow both. It shows your teacher that you’re not only listening but that you also have respect for his or class rules. One of those rules is often to raise your hand when you have a question, when you wish to make a comment or if you need to be excused from class to, for example, use the restroom. Listening and following directions span numerous areas of your life, and school is no different.
Pay attention to the lesson or lecture. A classroom with kids scampering about or a lecture hall full of busy student fingers moving over smart phones are not a teacher’s dream come true. Instead envision a quiet class in which everyone is facing the teacher, listening to the lecture. That’s what a teacher wants to see, and how you should behave in class. Your teacher will notice, and it will be appreciated.
- Be aware of your body language. Sit up straight. It shows you care and are involved. Slouching to the side, with your head in your hand, can be considered quite rude by teachers.
- Make sure you take good notes in class, which also shows you’re paying attention, focusing on what’s important and not letting your mind wander. Notes are also a written record of what your teacher says in class and will help you do well on assignments and tests.
- If you’re having a really hard time focusing in class, talk to your teacher and to your parents.
Participate in class. One of the most effective ways to your teacher’s heart is by being engaged in class discussions, asking questions, and responding thoughtfully to new ideas and facts. In life, people respond positively to you when you show an interest in what they like or in what they are doing, making or discussing. It’s the same with teachers. You also want to participate effectively and respectfully in groups.
- When working in groups, don’t be overbearing and take over the group. But also don’t be the one who doesn’t do much on the group assignment or project. Be an active member.
- While participating in open class discussions and asking questions is encouraged, be careful not to overdo it. Make sure others have plenty of time to talk and ask questions, too.
Strive to do well. The biggest “thank you” you can give your teacher, and the surest way to make him or her happy and proud, is by excelling. Many people get into teaching because they want to have a positive impact on students and the world. They want to see passion, creativity and knowledge grow. They want to feel like they’ve made a difference in their students’ lives. Show your teacher he or she has had a positive impact on you by producing high-quality work that is neat, legible, carefully put together and always turned in on time.
- Make sure you are consistent. Doing really well only the first week or two to make a good first impression won’t be enough. It will later make your teacher think you aren’t living up to your potential.
- If you put in the time and effort to do well the duration of the class, you will reap the rewards of your teacher’s high regard.
- If you do a lot of in-class work and are able to sit wherever you want, choose a seat away from talkative friends. This will let you focus and word hard, which your teacher will happily see.
Avoiding Behaviors That Upset Your Teacher
Put away the electronic gadgets. Students across the U.S. are increasingly taking cell phones, smart phones, tablets and laptops to school. Teachers, in response, are getting increasingly frustrated when students stealthily text and play games in class or when laptop screens display Facebook instead of the web page on body anatomy being discussed. While in class, put away the electronics, or only use them for the purpose of the class. Using them for other reasons is rude and will upset your teacher.
- If you have a special situation and need to have your phone with you, talk with your teacher about the situation. Ask if you can have it on vibrate during class.
- While some classes now utilize smart phones for exercises and assignments, leave yours in your locker or at home if you think you might be temped to pull it out during a class in which you don’t need it.
Save the clowning around for another time. While other students might find your antics and jokes hilarious, your teacher will find them not only obnoxious but also disruptive to class. Avoid speaking out of turn. Don’t crack jokes at the expense of others, including your teacher. Save the playful head chokes, wrestling and noogies for after class.
Don’t bully other students or the teacher. Bullying has become such a problem in schools that organizations and policy groups have formed to help combat it, schools have implemented strict anti-bullying policies and teachers have taken classes to learn how to better manage it. If you want your teacher to like you, definitely do not be THE BULLY. Don’t interrupt and argue with other students in an intimidating manner. Don’t yell at them or call them names, especially using profanity. Don’t threaten them, whether verbally, in writing or with your body language.
- Don’t bully your teachers either. They are in charge, not you!
- Remember: Bullying not only has very negative consequences in terms of your relationship with your teacher. It can get you kicked out of school, or worse.
Avoid unnecessary chatter. Most teachers will not want you to talk or whisper (rarely will you whisper as quietly as you think) while they are talking or while students are working on an assignment or taking a test. You also shouldn’t stop by a friend’s desk to talk, if only for a few seconds, when you get up to sharpen your pencil or a drink from the water fountain. When working in groups, limit your talking to the project at hand, not the latest gossip or the best and worst plays in the NCAA semi-finals. It’s disrespectful and distracting.
- Also, don’t pass notes in class. When passing notes, you might as well be shouting to your friend from across the room while your teacher attempts to teach you how to simplify square roots in Algebra. It’s simply that obvious to everyone.
Don’t sleep in class. It drives teachers crazy to see a student’s head bobbing sleepily during a lesson or lecture or to watch a student lean forward on his desk to lay his head on his arm as soon as the lights go out for a video. By doing this, you’re sending a clear message to your teacher – “What you’re teaching isn’t all that interesting or important to me, and I don’t care too much about following the rules.” That’s not the message you want to send to make your teacher happy. It’s also awkward, or worse, when you have to be awoken.
- If you find yourself overwhelmingly and consistently tired in class, and simply unable to stay awake, talk with your teacher about it. You probably aren’t getting enough sleep and need to readjust your schedule.
Don’t lie to your teacher. The “I thought it was due next week” when you’d been reminded repeatedly of the due date or “I was really sick last night and wasn’t able to finish the conclusion,” not knowing your teacher happened to be at the movie theater the previous evening, too – are all excuses, lies, that you should never, never tell your teacher. Lying is one of teachers’ biggest pet peeves. Also, once you’ve been caught, you can forget about leniency when something actually does happen to prevent you from turning in an assignment on time.