Your Teachers

OK, so it may be hard to think of your teachers as real people. But they eat pizza, watch movies, and enjoy sports on the weekends just like you. And they know about more than just their subject matter. Given the chance, they can offer you the kind of advice and support that might change your life forever. Here’s how to build a connection.

Show some interest.

Obviously, your teachers are really interested in their subjects. Showing the teacher that you care, even if you’re not a math whiz or fluent in French, sends the message that you are a dedicated student.

Schedule a conference.

Schedule a private conference during a teacher’s free period to get extra help, ask questions, inquire about a career in the subject, or talk about your progress in class. You may be surprised to learn that your teacher is a bit more relaxed one-on-one than when lecturing in front of the whole class.

Be yourself.

Teachers can sense when your only motivation for trying to be a “favorite student” is to get special treatment or a good grade. Just be yourself and forget about trying to show off.

Deal with study problems.

If you find a subject difficult, talk to your teacher right away about extra tutoring. If you find it boring, talk to your teacher about ways to see the subject in a different light. For example you may hate math, but learning how to calculate averages and percentages can help you in everything from sports to leaving a tip.

Show some respect.

Just as teachers need to be fair and treat everyone equally, students have responsibilities too. You don’t have to like your teacher or agree with what he or she says, but it is necessary to be polite.