The rapports that you create with your teachers can greatly influence your school experience – both inside and outside the classroom. Cultivating strong connections with your instructors can even benefit you throughout the course of your professional career. But how do you begin to develop these relationships?
Standing out – in a positive manner – is often the key to fostering such connections. To ensure that the relationships you have with your teachers are the best they can be, try to exemplify these three behaviours that teachers love:
1. Creating a good first impression on the first day in class
First impressions matter. It is important to make a positive first impression as early as possible.
After your first class with a new instructor, approach him or her and briefly introduce yourself. Tell the teacher your name, as well as a bit about your academic background. You might even express your excitement about the subject.
While becoming acquainted with your instructor, maintain eye contact and smile. Though short, such an introduction conveys professionalism and respect.
2. Engaging both inside and outside the classroom
Teachers love to see alert, engaged students sitting in the first row of their classroom or lecture hall. To further demonstrate your enthusiasm, always pay attention. Though some instructors may not say as much, they do notice when students are off-task.
Teachers also notice, and greatly appreciate, those students who continue conversations about class material outside course sessions. If you have any questions, concerns or other thoughts related to a class, speaking with your instructor conveys to him or her that you care about your academic performance, student-teacher relationship and the course itself. Check with your teacher to determine the best time to talk — before or after class, during office hours, etc.
3. Showing respect
This may seem obvious, but teachers greatly appreciate when their students are respectful and polite. Respect is perhaps the most important trait you can convey to your instructors. Be mindful of your manners, and remember to be considerate of others both inside and outside of the classroom.
When speaking to your teacher, be appropriately formal. For instance, do not use slang terms. Showing formality conveys a sense of professionalism, and it also demonstrates your respect.