Ask TFS: Teachers’ Good Sides

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Ghost, Author

“One of my teachers isn’t very fond of me and often doesn’t call on me in class. How can I get on this teacher’s “good side”?” – E.C., freshman

A sure way to a teacher’s heart is through curiosity about what they are teaching. The quickest way to get onto a teacher’s good side is showing continued interest in class material and participation during class time.

That’s the short version of how to get teachers to like you.

But for those of you who feel as though one teacher doesn’t care about you in the slightest, or worse throws all their frustration at you perhaps something else is needed.

It’s important to have a good relationship with your teachers. A teacher that likes you is more willing provide additional help outside school, write a recommendation, or be more lenient when it comes to partial credit on assessments.

One option that involves showing dedication to a teacher’s class is ask for help outside of class. This works especially well if you’re struggling with the material. You go in early before school or after school, get help with a tough topic, and show your teacher that you’re willing to spend extra time outside of the class period working on their class.

If you’re not having a hard time with the course material and your teacher still treats you ambivalently, try offering to help peers who aren’t doing as well.

Another way you can try to get on a teacher’s “good side” is to find something that both of you find interesting. I have two teachers that I’m friends with because of a shared love of interesting sayings and the St. Louis Cardinals.

It can be awkward to strike up a conversation with a teacher that doesn’t like you to find out what they like. Please do not try walking up to your teacher after class and asking them what their favorite hobby is. That is odd.

Instead, look around their room for things that they like. My sixth grade teacher had about 200 pictures of bulldogs in her room. If you wanted to get on her good side, you needed to talk to her about bulldogs.

If the room doesn’t point to anything your teacher likes, listen closely to their lectures. Most teachers include anecdotes in their lessons. Listen for an anecdote, and if you can relate to it talk with you teacher about it later.

Another thing everyone needs to know is that you can’t make everyone like you.  Both of the above methods should strengthen your relationship with your teachers, but sometimes people just don’t like each other. As a last resort you can try to switch out of the class, but hopefully things aren’t that bad.

Bottom line: show interest in what the teacher is teaching. People like to feel that what they are doing is having an impact. If a teacher sees that nobody is paying attention in class, they’re not going to like the class. If a teacher see that everyone is attentive and curious about the subject, they’ll love the class.

Be a part of the second class: working hard, being curious, and treating your teacher with respect. That is the easiest way to get your teacher to like you.