How to Get Teachers to Like You

Who would know better than a teacher?

Mr. E., an AP English teacher with a wealth of experience, has an upfront response to this popular question:

“How do I get a teacher to like me?”

Mr. E.: Great question.  What you shrewd students need to know is as follows:

Quality teachers come in on the first day having made the decision they like you, and look forward to working with you.  Average teachers hope to like every student.  Poor teachers have low self-esteem, and come in to class on the first day trying to identify the trouble-makers, as he/she views them as their natural enemy, thusly resulting in being targeted souls for annual prey.

But, I digress.  How do you actively pursue the beneficial achievement of getting a teacher to like you, i.e., look forward to seeing and conversing with you?  The answer will work with all three of the teacher types noted above.

1) Contribute to the class.  Raise your hand, and show nothing but patience as you wait to be called upon.  Do not show displeasure if you are not called on.

2) Say thank you at the end of every class, no matter how boring it might have been; even on exam days.  These actions pay huge dividends, even if you pull back on the reigns over the months in keeping the aforementioned up.

3) Be careful with how you word disagreement. When you have a differing opinion than your teacher, whether in front of the class, or better yet, privately after class, or the best of all – by appointment, preface whatever you are about to state disagreement with, “I feel…”.  Such a start will not cause the automatic armor of any human being, which occurs when you start with, “I disagree with…,” or, “You are wrong.”  Your teacher and your future supervisors, and those that may ultimately work under you, will respect you more whenever beginning a criticism with, “I feel…”.

There’s a bonus in this for you, too.  Teachers are human. You go out of your way for them, you can expect a slight return on investment in that a teacher will dismiss a late or missed homework without a grade penalty… and not tell you that he or she did that.  Why? Because, frankly, it’s unethical.  On the other hand, sometimes what might be considered fair as a teacher, might not always equal ethical.  The famous saying that to be human is to err, is true for everyone; even those held to higher standards.

I hope this honesty has answered your important question, and more importantly helped you learn how to put yourself in a position for an easier and less stressful year with all of your teachers.

Photo: Kinga Chicewitz

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