5 Ways to Impress Your Teacher
On the First Day of School
Whether you want to admit it or not, first impressions are extremely important. In the first few seconds and minutes after meeting someone, we’ve already started deciding who we think that person is. Are they kind? Shady? Loud? Dull? Smart? Even the most nonjudgmental people make these judgments subconsciously. That’s why it’s so incredibly important to focus on making a good impression, especially on the people that matter… like your teachers. Remember, it’s a lot easier to create a good first impression than to repair a bad one! Here are a few things you can do to impress your new teacher on your first day of school.
Participate, and don’t look bored.
Can you imagine speaking at the front of class and looking out on a sea of blank, disinterested faces? Well, that’s your teacher’s reality all too often. Stand out from the crowd and make an effort to look attentive and engaged. Even if you are attentive and engaged, your face might not always reflect that… so make sure you’re showing it! Raise your hand when your teacher asks questions, and volunteer if they need any help. Show your teacher that you’re going to be a helpful and active participant in their class, and they’ll be happy to have you!
Put your cell phone away.
I know you aren’t going to be texting during the middle of your first class (at least you better not be!) but it’s best to just put your phone completely away for the entire first day of school. If your new teacher(s) see you with a phone, they may automatically assume that you’re an in-class-texter to watch out for. Don’t give them any reason to assume that! Just tuck it away and don’t even have it in your hands until the final bell rings. If you don’t see a text or a notification, you won’t be tempted to check it or respond. I promise, you’ll survive.
Don’t talk while your teacher is talking.
This was easily the hardest thing for me, but it’s so important. I know that you’re excited to be reunited with your classmates and want to catch up (or you’re bummed to be back in school and want to commiserate) but save it for passing periods or lunch. It would be incredibly irritating to talk over students all day, so don’t make your teacher irritated.
Pro-tip: I would literally tell my friends, as we walked into class, “Don’t be offended, but I’m not going to speak to you at all during this class.” Have #NoShame in your first impression game, and give your friends a heads-up so you don’t have to ignore them the entire class.
Be respectful and polite.
That means more than simply not being disrespectful and rude. It means being proactively respectful and polite. Introduce yourself to your new teacher! Ask them how their summer was. When you see them in the hallway, say hello and ask them how they are. I know it may seem awkward at first, but it will go a long way with your teacher. You’ll stand out in their memory as being mature and kind.
Be (seriously) prepared.
I know it’s the first day and most of your classes will consist of going over syllabi and finding out what to expect over the semester, but come to your first day with a well-stocked backpack anyways. When/if your teacher goes over the syllabus, jot down notes that you don’t want to forget. If your teacher needs you to write something down or use a scrap paper, it doesn’t look great to be the student going, “Psssst! Anyone got a pencil I could borrow?”
With the first day of school right around the corner, commit yourself to being the best student you can be this year. You only get one chance to make a first impression on your teacher, so use it wisely!