As a teacher I know what makes us tick. I also know what makes us happy. Now, as teachers we have to be consistent and fair with all of our students. Our pride and professional reputation are both at risk otherwise. So, as professionals we guarantee that everybody gets the same level of attention. We don’t care who you are, where you’re from, what you did… (cue backstreet boys’ fans) But! Your teacher is only human! Anyone can tell you that humans can be won over by just using the power of psychology. It is 100% guaranteed that your teacher is human. No, I’m joking. Some of us are grammar robots. What I’m saying is your teacher will not treat you differently to any other student. But as a student, if you have won over your teacher, you will be the one who has a much better time in class. Especially in comparison to your classmates. It’s time to brace yourself for this lovely read, as I tell you the secret to the teacher’s brain. This week’s blog is… not a blog. Yes, my friend, this is a strategy guide for how to win over your teacher and how to do it properly.
It’s always a nice thing when a student introduces themselves for the first time. Any student who takes the time to do the local custom earns the teacher’s respect. It’s much nicer for you to shake the teacher’s hand and say your name and ask the teacher’s name too. Sometimes the teacher gets information that doesn’t include your information… sometimes the student goes to the wrong room. Etc. From an administrative point of view, it’s beneficial if you say something.
If you introduce yourself, you are setting yourself up as a confident, receptive learner. The teacher will like that. The teacher will like that and one-point to you.
Do your homework
Bad things happen to those students who don’t do their homework. Some students think they are too good to do their homework, and it breaks my heart, because they aren’t. Sorry, if that’s you but do your homework, it’s there for a reason. If you do the homework, it’s an opportunity to revise and to improve your English, even if you find it easy. It also shows you and the teacher how much you know. Sometimes you might have even gotten an answer wrong and don’t realise it. Student’s that don’t do the homework come across as lazy and unbothered. It tells the teacher that you aren’t focused, and worse, you aren’t interested in your learning. That also tells the teacher that you expect the teacher to do all of the work and you to just learn through osmosis. No one wants to teach a student like that.
Do your homework and the teacher will feel respected and like you are invested.
Come to class
Sometimes there are students who come once or twice a week. Sadly, it’s never enough. Obviously, if you are ill or something we understand. On the other hand, if your teacher forgets you exist. Well… Good attendance is really essential. The only way to improve is, to make sure you are consistent and in a routine that prioritises your education. A good education is the basis of progress, so if you don’t have that, then nothing else will have a solid foundation. If you come to class however, that isn’t quite enough. You are able to organise so many important things in your life, so something like being on time should come easily to you. It’s disrespectful to simply turn up late and it will not win you any favours with the teacher. Again, if there is a major transport issue, we understand. That stated, many teachers run on ‘once is an accident, twice is on purpose’ philosophy.
Turning up everyday and on time tells your teacher you’re reliable and dedicated.
Study your notes
We can tell the students who don’t study from the ones who do. We can almost smell it. In the first few days of the course you can get away with it, but it soon becomes obvious. Our courses are a little bit cyclical, teachers know who’s familiarising themselves with vocabulary because it always comes back. If you aren’t revising that’s entirely your problem, but it will become an issue for everyone else because you won’t understand the second time you see it.
A student who revises and can recall information and structures is showing the teacher they value their lessons and work hard at their progression.
Students who give feedback, get much more out of their lessons and their course overall because the teacher knows how to tailor it to meet the student’s needs. Teachers are a little bit psychic, but (sadly) they aren’t totally psychic so if there is a problem, you need to find a way to let them know. Teachers need positive reinforcement too, so if there is something you really like, then make sure you communicate that information too. Do you know that expression, the squeaky wheel gets the grease? Same philosophy here. We ask students to do several surveys while they are taking our classes, but you can also talk to your teacher directly if you wish. Don’t worry we don’t bite.
The student who is focused enough to be able to give carefully considered feedback, shows the teacher that they are dedicated and focused on their learning.
Now that you’ve finished, think about how you’re being perceived as a student by your teacher. Are you a good student or a bad one? Maybe these are some traits you could try to take on in order to get the best out of your classes.