Getting along with your teachers

Building relationships are important in all forms and fashions no matter who they’re with. Forming healthy relationships with your teachers is important. Why you may ask? Well, the answer is simple! Forming healthy relationships with your teachers is one of the best ways to help you do well in school so you can be happier while you’re there, and so you can have a more successful life.

We get it: some teachers you just can’t stand. And that’s okay! We don’t expect you to like every teacher you ever have. But it’s still important that you learn how to talk and behave around your teachers. After all, for the rest of your lives you will meet people you don’t like very much, such as future co-workers or bosses, but it’s still very important that you learn how to get along with them even if you don’t want to be their friend. Not being able to get along with people you don’t like is a great way to cause problems in your life that you don’t want!

So, what are some ways teachers can help you in your own life?

  • A personal guidance counselor. We all have times in our lives where we need someone to turn to, whether it’s a friend or family member. This is no different for teachers! Teachers were all in your shoes at once. They remember what it was like being young and all the struggles that came with it at times. Because they’ve been there before, they each have a lot of guidance behind them and if they can’t help you themselves, they know the right resources to send you to.
  • A mentor. Often times we are drawn to people who share our interests and hobbies. Teachers may know a lot about your interests! If you’re interested in art, then it might be a good idea to talk more with your art teacher. They could give you specific help and guidance that may strengthen your talents. They could also be someone who you look up to.
  • Getting involved. Alright, let’s pretend you’re now talking with your art teacher more and trying to form a closer relationship with them, what now? Well, they’re also the ones who can help you participate in activities you might be interested in. Clubs and community service work each have their own unique way of helping you grow into a bright future. Not to mention, they look amazing on job and college applications for the future! This is a great way to get hired into a higher-paying job or better college before other people your age.
  • About that college thing. Speaking of college, this is an area where teachers really show their help! College is right around the corner, and before you know it, you’ll have to begin the difficult process of applying to college. Most schools will ask you for letters to be written by your teachers to let them know how awesome you are. Remember that art teacher you decided to speak with more? Since you have formed such a close bond with this teacher, they are now able to inform these schools all about you and all the wonderful things they can expect from you. These connections can also help out with jobs in the future.
  • Don’t forget about jobs. Some of you may choose to go straight to work rather than going to college, and that’s great! Lucky for you, teachers can still help you here. For those interested in working as a mechanic, for instance, it might be a great idea to speak with your teachers in welding or other classes that have you working with tools and technology. It’s likely they would be able to tell you places you can work and whether they are hiring! Those jobs you apply for will want you to give them names of people they can call in order to learn more about you, and so talking more with teachers and forming a closer relationship with them is a great way for them to learn more about you and talk about how great you are if your future boss ever wants to learn more about you.
  • Scholarships and grants. We know that for many students, a major concern about college is “How am I going to be able to afford it?” Teachers can assist you in your search for scholarships or grants. They have scholarships for everything, and a lot of that money goes to waste each year because so many students don’t do anything to receive some of it! Most teachers will know exactly where to point you to so you can try and make some money.

Just to review real quick, talking more with your teachers and forming a respectful relationship can help you with: enjoying school more, applying to colleges, getting a better job, and making more money.

Now that you know a few of the great things that can come from all of this, we bet we know what your next question might be: “How do I form these relationships?” Well, glad you asked! The answers are simple and all start with you. That’s right, YOU!

  • Show up to class on time. No one likes a slacker. Show up on time to class when you have it. If you do that, you’re well on your way. Teachers like to see that you are respectful to them, and if you show up late, then they might think you don’t care about them.
  • Interact. We know it’s hard to stay focused at all hours of the day, especially when you’re sitting in class for eight hours. But do you know one of the easiest ways to wake yourself up and pay closer attention? Ask questions! Even if it’s a question you already know the answer to, just speaking up and being a part of the class will help. And if you’re in a class that fits with what you want to do in the future, ask questions and get involved. All teachers love when you ask questions, and they will notice you that much easier. When a college or future boss calls and asks your teacher what you’re like, they can describe you as caring and committed. What a great way to set an impression!
  • Do the work. Not doing work is a great way to show you don’t really care, which won’t help you get along with your teachers. Stay organized, turn assignments in on time, and ask your teacher for help when you need it! Show your teacher that you care and want to do well in their class.
  • Staying after class. If you need extra help or need to ask the teacher questions about the material, staying after class can help (so long as you aren’t late to your next class!) By staying a minute or two late to speak with your teacher, you are showing them that you are interested in the subject and really want to learn, which they really love to see! That’s why they are teachers after all.
  • Don’t disturb the class.  While it is good to get your name out there to your teachers, you don’t want to go about it in the wrong way.  Disturbing the class by throwing paper, talking, or being any kind of disruption to your class will NOT win the teacher’s approval.
  • Learning to apologize.  On the other hand, we all do slip up.  There might be a day where you just really want to talk with your friends and your teacher becomes frustrated because they feel you are disrupting the class.  If this does happen, make it a point to apologize at the end of class. Show them that you understand your mistake and you will try to be more careful in the future!
  • Communication. Everything we have discussed thus far is extremely important to maintain and create the kind of relationship you want with your teachers.  The biggest tip of all that ties each of these aspects together is communicating with them.  Make sure you’re understand the teacher and what they have to offer you.  They are not just here to feed you unnecessary amount of homework and tests.  Teachers can offer you life lessons, you just have to be willing to seek these opportunities when they are presented!

Still struggling?  Don’t give up!  If you’re having a tough time, seek help from your school counselor.  School counselors can give you great tips and direction to help you build the bond you are looking or with your teachers.