Tips for Building Great Relationships With Your Teachers

The title of “teacher’s pet” used to be thrown out as an insult, but as you approach college admissions season, it’s a title you should enthusiastically pursue. While I’m not encouraging you to be insincere, or a suck-up, prioritizing a good relationship with your teacher is incredibly important. When you have good rapport with your teacher, you likely feel more comfortable asking questions, participating in class, and requesting additional help and support. Perhaps most beneficial, however, is how that relationship can pay off in form of a stellar college recommendation letter.

Tips for Creating a Good Student-Teacher Relationship

Be genuine.

Your teachers have probably been doing this for awhile, and they can spot someone being phony. Be yourself! (The best version, obviously). Strike up a conversation when you enter their classroom and ask them how their day is. Make it a point to show them your true personality and connect with them beyond just a face at a desk.

Bring your A-game to class.

Of course, you’ll make the best impression if you put your full effort into the class they’re teaching. Take notes during class, do your homework, and study. Participate in class discussions and ask questions when something is unclear. Engage with the content they’re teaching and show them the kind of student you are.

Share your future goals and plans.

Part of showing them who you are is sharing your ambitions and college plans. This is particularly important information if you’re asking them to write a college recommendation letter, and even more important if you’re planning on studying their subject in college. Let them know where you see yourself in the future and ask about their own college experience. Get them invested!

Show an interest in their subject matter.

Obviously if you’re planning on majoring in biology in college and want a rec letter from your biology teacher, you need to show a genuine interest in what they’re teaching. However, even if you don’t plan on pursuing their particular subject, it’s still important that you show respect and academic commitment by showing an interest in their course. Trust me, teachers really appreciate the kid nodding during their lecture and asking good questions.

Asking for a Letter of Recommendation

Ask your teacher(s) early.

Your teachers are busy, and they’re likely writing recommendation letters for many students. Request your letter several weeks in advance, and then check, double check, and triple check that your teachers are aware of deadlines! Make their lives as easy as possible. Give them everything weeks in advance, and check in every once in awhile so they don’t forget.

Provide them with your brag sheet.

We went over everything that goes into a great brag sheet several weeks ago. In short, brag sheets should cover all of the impressive things you’ve done in high school (inside and outside of the classroom) that you want to make sure your teacher remembers and potentially mentions in their letter of recommendation. Brag sheets often include:

  • GPA, grades, coursework, class rank, etc.
  • Test scores
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Leadership positions
  • Employment/work experience
  • Philanthropic work/community service
  • Honors, awards, recognitions
  • Future career goals and academic plans (or hopes) for college

Show your gratitude!!

Teachers who write recommendation letters for you are literally helping your dreams come true. Thank them when you ask, thank them sporadically when you see them, and thank them profusely once they’ve finished. In short, make sure they know just how grateful you are for their help and kind words.

Need help with your brag sheet, or seeking advice about how to best gather recommendation letters? We’re here to help with all of it. The Enrichery offers 1-1 College Admissions Packages, and our expert coaches can work with you to create your brag sheet and secure those letters. We’re also currently filling our our Enrichery College Workshop where we’ll talk brag sheets, letters, and help you finish all of your applications before senior year even begins.