Getting on the Teacher’s Good Side in College

teacher in front of classroomAbout 85% of your success in life rests on your ability to get along well with others. This includes gaining and keeping good rapport with the teacher. If she likes your attitude, you’re much more likely to max out that discretionary 10% that has a significant influence on your grade.

Go Early and Stay Late – 

Okay, 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? Early enough that you have your book and notepaper out and your pen poised and ready to go before the professor even opens his mouth.

Why? Because often, she has either just taught a class or just reviewed his notes, and wants to make sure she makes some critical points before they slip his mind. Sometimes, students will be talking to him just before class starts, and maybe they’re all asking the same question.  She will use those first few moments of class to clear up the issue for the entire class.

Also, your teacher may wrap up the class making sure she touches on and reviews key concepts one more time before you go.  Remember that key concepts are testable material.  Coming a bit late or leaving a bit early, unless it is absolutely necessary, and you’ve mentioned it to the teacher beforehand, makes you look bad.  It may appear that you don’t plan your time well, so you cant get there on time.

You may seem (gasp!) lazy and thoughtless. A tiny transgression that’s more damaging than you’d think: coming a little late to class or leaving a little early. Be aware of the image you project in the classroom. Whether you realize it or not, something as small as coming in a minute late from time to time, or packing up while the teacher is still talking and slipping out a moment early makes you look bad.

It suggests disrespect for the teacher and 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, let the professor know ahead of time.

Now that may be a lot to read into being late and leaving early, however, all the professor 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, and take part in active listening and note taking.  When the time is right, jump on in and ask a question.  While you are at it, answer a few questions too. It’s your class, so make the most of it.


College Success Speaker, Crystal Jonas- Bio LinkAs 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, and 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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