I taught high school for over five years, so when it comes to teachers and teens, I have a pretty unique perspective. I write for a website for teens, but have also been on the other side of the desk. Now, I’m going to share my tips to win over your teachers and get them to like you (or at least get on their good side). You don’t have to start liking them. But, these tips will at least help you get along with them. Remember, it is to your advantage to have your teachers like you, since when people like you, they treat you better and give you the benefit of the doubt more often.
Tip One: Teachers Are People Too (And Need Empathy)
They may yell at you, annoy you, get you trouble, and stop you from having fun, but your teachers are actually people too, with feelings and all. Anything you deal with on a daily basis, from letdowns to stress to family and friend problems, your teacher has been there and done that too. And, they may actually be going through it at that very moment. Believe it or not, teachers have a lot of stress on them: state standards, a jerk principal, a spouse at home they may not like, etc. So, when you talk to your teachers, keep in mind that they’re not perfect and have the same issues that you do (and maybe even some more). So, have a little empathy for them. You expect empathy from them (for example, you want them to understand you had a super stressful day so your homework wasn’t finished), so remember to give them a little as well.
Tip Two: Affirm Them
Teachers are bashed a lot these days. Parents get angry, superintendents blame them for poor test results, and the media calls them lazy. Also, teachers don’t make much money compared to their friends in business jobs. Plus, students aren’t always terribly happy to be in their classroom. It can make for a depressing environment, especially after years and years of dealing with this.
Also, I can tell you that teachers are rarely thanked or affirmed. So, affirm and thank your teachers occasionally. You don’t have to suck up or be teacher’s pet. Just say something like “that was actually a cool assignment” or “you really helped me understand algebra a little better.” Even a more superficial comment about their clothing can make them feel better. It’ll go along way towards getting the teacher to like you.
Tip Three: Take An Interest In Them
Is your whole life about math or science? Probably not! Well the same is true of your science and math (and all other) teachers. Your teacher has a host of interests outside of school, just like you. This includes hobbies, families, friends, and talents. If you want to win over your teachers, find out what these are and take an interest in them. Most teachers will be happy to talk about their lives because no one usually asks! As a plus, it may get them off topic for awhile.
Tip Four: Recognize You Might Be Wrong
Teachers aren’t always right when it comes to discipline or grades. When I was a teacher the arrogance of some other teachers really bothered me. However, most of the time your teacher likely knows what is going on. If you’ve gotten in trouble, then man (or woman) up and apologize. When I taught teens, I respected students who fessed up and apologized when they were wrong, rather than those who dragged out the process and lied to my face over and over again. There are times you will be doing the wrong thing. While you don’t have to go and confess your wrongdoings to your teacher, if you’re caught, then own up.
These tips will help you win over your teacher and get along better with them. While it may be “cool” with some kids to have the teacher hate them, it’s certainly not very smart! If you’re going to be with someone every day for nine months, you’d better make sure they like you!