You’re smart…you’re talented…you’ve definitely done your homework. So why is your professor deliberately ignoring you? Worse, he/she has marked up your paper with that awful red pen and given you a B-, when you clearly deserved an A.
Is there a reason why you are being so callously treated? Well, some teachers like to play tough until they get to know you. They won’t give you an A, or even an A- until you’ve somehow “proven” yourself, or impressed them in some way.
How do you impress a teacher? It may not be as hard as you think. Here are five surefire ways to get a teacher to notice you in a positive way:
1: Learn the professor’s name immediately (and how to pronounce it correctly!)
There’s nothing so annoying to a college instructor as being addressed as “teacher” or “teach”. “Professor” is a little bit better, but if you really want to impress your instructor, address him or her by the correctly pronounced name, along with the appropriate title. Yes, some people—even teachers—have difficult to pronounce last names (maybe you have one yourself). But you’re going to be spending three or four months with this person. Shouldn’t you learn how to address him or her correctly now, in the first few weeks of school, where your consideration in doing so will make you stand out among the other (possibly stammering) students?
2: Smile at the professor
Dear student, your teacher is human (yes, it’s true). He or she responds to a friendly smile just like you do. In fact, at the end of an intense lesson, most teachers would like nothing better than to receive a smile from students as they leave the classroom. Sometimes teachers get this smile—and sometimes they don’t. If you’re the student who bestows the smile, your teacher will remember—and be impressed.
3: Say something at the end of class
Even better than the friendly smile is the friendly remark. How often have you enjoyed a class, yet failed to let the teacher know? Too often, probably. If you liked the session, say so—your teacher will appreciate it. And if you didn’t enjoy it, you can still wish the teacher a nice afternoon, or a nice weekend—or just say, “See you on Thursday. ” Anything, in fact, is better than walking out of class saying nothing—if you want to impress the teacher.
4: Follow the teacher’s directions—exactly
Now, this is important. If the teacher says double space your report, double space it, please. If he/she wants five references, don’t give just three. This is fairly obvious, but students occasionally think instructions aren’t important. Dear student, if you’re not following your teacher’s directions to the letter, you will never impress that teacher. It’s that simple.
5: Speak up in class—especially when no one else is
There is nothing so discouraging to a teacher as a lack of class participation. Students know this—yet often they will sit still and not open their mouths for no particular reason. Don’t you be one of those students. In fact, the best way to impress a teacher (other than turning in perfect work) is to speak up in class. When you see the teacher has asked a question that no one can answer (not even you) —take a guess. The teacher will appreciate the fact that you broke the silence, and he or she will be impressed. (Now, if you can stimulate a class discussion with your remark, you’ve really got it made.)
The above are legitimate and pleasing efforts that your teacher will applaud. There are, however, a few methods that students try that they shouldn’t. These techniques are counter-productive—even though they may not seem so at the time.
So, do not—
1…turn in extra credit work without checking with the teacher first. Teachers have too much to do already.
2…tell the teacher you’re thinking of taking one of his or her classes the following semester if you’re not,
especially near final exam time.
3…do anything sneaky, or overtly flirtatious, or detrimental to others to get the teacher’s attention. If you have a teacher who responds positively to this, that teacher won’t be around very long.
Dear student, it all comes down to the Golden Rule. Treat the teacher the way you’d like to be treated. There’s nothing that impresses a teacher more than a little consideration.
Have a wonderful semester!