Unless you are completely oblivious, there is a part of you — even if it’s a tiny part — that wants your teachers to like you. It is not your goal to become best friends with them, to go to Starbucks and talk about your crushes. You want them to know that you are serious about school and that you respect their job. If anything, it drops into the starting-to-act-like-an-adult category.
Tone It Down
Imagine you are supposed to talk in front of an audience of 50 (or more) students. Most of them are thinking about something else — and you know it — but, still, you must make your speech. Obviously, you want them to pay attention to you while being quiet. That is not an easy job, and it involves a lot of creativity and effort. That is the role of a teacher: to capture their students’ attentions every day, even when teaching some very uninteresting subjects.
It can be a very tiring task, so make sure to respect your teachers’ efforts. That means being quiet in class, paying attention to what they say, and doing your best in the tasks they hand you. If you need to borrow something, make sure you do not disrupt the whole class. Keep your voice down (like a whisper) when you ask your friend for an eraser. If your friends keep trying to talk to you, wanting to discuss what they are going to do over the weekend, softly tell them that you want to pay attention to the class. They may think you are a nerd, but in the end you will be the one who gets extra credit on your exam for writing down that specific example your teacher talked about.
Raise Your Hand
When we are in primary school, we are told, multiple times, to wait for our turn to speak and to raise our hands if we plan on sharing our ideas. Well, that tip lives up to today. If your teacher asks a question to the whole class, don’t start rambling about World War II without checking to see if the guy in the seat next to you is talking at the same time. Raise your hand and wait for your teacher to give you permission. You may be the only one in class doing it, but it will sure make your teacher see you as a respectful student.
Also, if you have a doubt, don’t be afraid to ask. Most teachers appreciate when their students ask questions because it means that they are paying attention. Don’t be afraid to speak up (after raising your hand, I mean).
This topic leads to many discussions, but it is a truth almost universally-known that most of our teachers are human beings. This means that there is a big chance that we will see them in the supermarket or at the movie theater. If you happen to see your teacher in the market, and you two look at each other, do not be afraid to say “hello” to them. They are not the Cookie Monster, and they will feel much better if you treat them like the human beings that they are. If they happen to not recognize you, or if they ignore your “hello,” do not feel embarrassed. Remember that they are teaching a lot of students and that their memory is not big enough for all of the faces. Do not pull yourself down with thinking that they will laugh at you the next morning. With the amount of work they have on their hands, it is most likely that they do not remember the situation.
Because they are, apparently, human beings, it is normal for them to have bad days. That means that some days they will show up feeling sick or cranky. Respect that and make sure you let them know that you will be there if they need anything. The small gestures can mean a lot: picking up all the tests, giving out the books you are supposed to read for your next assignment — all these little things let your teachers know that you do not think less of them.
Sometimes you do everything right, and still your teachers don’t seem to like you. As someone once said, you can’t please everyone. Remember to always be yourself and to always respect others. We are all trying to do our best. We are either teachers or students, and together the results are much better.