Getting Along With Your Teachers

Are you a supposed teacher’s “favorite”? Is it exhilarating or overbearing? Have you ever thought, fantasized and wished that you’re a teacher’s “favorite”? Is it still just a wish because you don’t know how to go about it or it just seems impossible? It shouldn’t be.

Teachers, whatever name they’re given at any level of education, impart knowledge and that therefore, puts them in an authoritative and leadership position in their students’ lives, individually and collectively.

They are an important and indispensable part of our society and should be respected as such. At any level of education, a certain level of professional and academic relationship should exist between teacher and student beyond the classroom level, for the more benefit of the student.
In a regular learning institution, no matter how small, a teacher always has more than one student and the more students they have to teach, the less attention they’d pay to individual students, especially students who don’t reach or stand out. There are students who naturally stand out. They frequently answer or ask questions during class sessions, some misbehave, and others just have specific traits that might stand out to the teacher. If you’re not in this category of people, you should work on getting along with and having a better relationship with your teachers.

You’re not doing that because you want to befriend them so they can give you extra points/credit, or just because you want to be acknowledged as being a teacher’s favorite, or for favor on your exams. Getting along well with your teachers, outside classroom sessions (not school), gives you a certain edge. You’re relieved of the potential “fear”, hurdle or strictness that comes with relating with a teacher, and free to ask whatever questions you have about the class material.
Sometimes, you’re not able to ask questions or for explanations during a class session, for some reason. A good rapport with your teacher would help you be free to visit their office with your questions and interact with them.

Teachers also make good mentors and coaches for other non-academic challenges that may come up.

In university/college level, I can’t underestimate how important it is to form good relationships with your lecturers/professors, especially those teaching in your field. Relationships like that will go a long way, especially in your future career.

So, how do you get along with your teachers?

First, know that teachers don’t have “favorite students”, (or they’re not supposed to). This is to avoid bias and dissension among classmates. A student may already have a good relationship with a teacher, that shouldn’t deter you from pursuing one. If all the students, that a teacher has, were to require and reach out for every individual’s academic needs, it’s the teacher’s job still and you’re not a bother at all.

1. Learn to ask questions

Teachers, the educators that they are, like and look forward to being challenged by their students with questions about and contributions to class material. When you constantly do that, in any little way you can, you are recognized by the teacher and you will and feel welcome whenever you find something challenging and need some help.

2. Have a constant seat or area in the classroom

This is especially difficult in higher institutions of learning where there are no assigned seats in classrooms, however, this is a good suggestion for students in such institutions. Sitting in the same seat or around the same area in a classroom, gives something to your lecturer/professor to remember about you, among the hundreds of students in a class, or simply the next time you need their help. Whether you like the corner, front or back of a huge lecture hall maybe, maintain a constant seat in class, try to make eye contact with the teacher during teaching sessions, if possible, to assure them that you’re paying attention, and participate in class discussions and activities.

3. Attend office hours

Teachers and lecturers provide specific times of the day when they’d be in their offices or staff rooms and are open to helping their students. Go visit them during those times, as often as you need their help. If you happen to be around their office, pop-in to say hi and ask how their day has been. It doesn’t take too much.

4. Be excellent

It’s not always fun for a teacher to have and know a student, almost on a personal level and see them not perform well in courses/subjects. They obviously can’t falsify your scores and even if they wrongfully do that, it doesn’t change the fact that you’re not excelling in your classes. After all the help, you’re reaching out to get from your teachers, the least you can do for yourself and your teachers is to excel, academically and morally.
Interactions and engagements with teachers vary in importance at different levels of education, but it’s nonetheless important and should be fostered. I can speak for them on one thing, you’re not bothering them at all. If anything, they are definitely looking forward to their students reaching out to them and offering help however they can. Take good advantage of these “geniuses” at your disposal, you’ll be a better and happy person for it.

Do you have or have you ever had a good rapport with your teacher? Feel free to share with me in the comments below.
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