Making that Good First Impression to Start the School Year Off Right

First impressions stick 80% of the time.  Make sure you start classes off on the right foot.

Making good first impressionsAbout 85% of your success in life, rests on your ability to get along well with others.  This includes gaining and keeping good rapport by having a good first impression with the teacher.  If he likes your attitude, you’re much more likely to max out that discretionary 10% that has a significant influence on your grade. Here are three good ways to make that first impression memorable.



Numbers #1 and #2:

Go early; stay late

Okay, steps one and two of getting off to the right start with a good first impression.  Now you don’t have to keep sitting there minutes after the class ends.  You should, however, come a few minutes early and stay though the entire class.  No need to be the last person to leave, just don’t create a draft trying to get out the door at the end of class.

How early do you need to come to class to make that good impression with the teacher?  Early enough that you have your book and notepaper out and your pen poised and ready to go before the teacher even opens his mouth.


Because often, he has either just taught a class or reviewed his notes, and wants to make sure he makes some critical points before they slip his mind.  Sometimes, students will be talking to him just before class starts, and maybe they’ve got the same question they need answered.  Teachers use those first few moment of class to clear up the issue for the entire class.

Listen, this is prime time stuff here, if you want to make that great first impression on your professor, then do not miss it!

Also, your prof may wrap up the class making sure he touches on and reviews key concepts one more time before you go.  Remember that key concepts are testable material.

Your habits are noticed!

A tiny transgression that’s more damaging than you’d think to a teacher’s impression of his/her student is coming a little late to class or leaving a little early.

Be aware of the image you project as a student in the classroom.  Whether you realize it or not, something as seemingly insignificant as coming in a minute late from time to time, or packing up with your teacher is still talking and slipping out a moment early makes you look bad when students are looking to gain a good impression.

It suggests disrespect of the teacher and the rest of the students in the class.  Whatever your reason for being late, correct the situation so you can be where you need to be when you need to be there.  If you absolutely must be late or leave early because of an appointment you must attend, let the teacher know ahead of time in order to keep that good  impression he has of you.

Coming a bit late or leaving a bit early, unless it’s absolutely necessary, and you’ve mentioned it to the teacher beforehand, makes you look bad. It may seem as though you don’t like the class or respect the teaacher.  It may appear that you don’t plan your time well, so you can’t get there on time.  You may seem (gasp!) lazy and thoughtless.  Now that may be a lot to read into being late and leaving early, however, all the teacher has to go on is what she sees, not your reasons for doing it.

And when you do go to class, BE there.  Sit as close to the front as is comfortable, focus, come prepared, take part in active listening, and note taking. When the time is right, jump on in and ask a question.  Answer a few, too.  It’s your class, make the most of it.

Way #3:  Stand out in a good way

In order to make a good first impression, you must be able to stand out in the crowd, let your teachers know you care.  You’re one of 357 students in an intro History class.  How do you let your teacher know who you are?  In three easy steps:

1.     Sit no further than the third row, right in the center of the classroom

2.     Always look attentive

3.     Make an appointment early in the semester so you can meet one on one with the teacher.  Ask for some clarification on one of the topics he’s been presenting, or for some help narrowing down your focus on a paper you’ll write for that class.

Let him know that you are paying attention and care about learning. Introduce yourself soon in the semester.  You will be remembered positively. Teachers pay attention to these things; it will improve that first impression greatly!



College Success Speaker, Crystal Jonas- Bio Link

Hi, I’m Crystal Jonas,

As a former academic advisor and assistant professor at the United States Air Force Academy, I know what it takes to make college students more successful, enjoy school whole lot more.

Ask about speaking or coaching for your students or faculty. Call me at 719- 291-0366.

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