Want to stand out in class without being a teacher’s pet? Here are some surprisingly easy ways to get noticed:
- Arrive on time
Such a simple thing really, but makes a world of a difference. Arriving early or on time shows your professor about your interest and dedication to the subject. This is the first thing a teacher will notice. And if you keep this up on a regular basis, you’ve already started to make an impression. Therefore, for your first class, leave early from home, calculate the time it takes to reach, keeping in mind traffic, etc.
If it’s a class in the middle of the day and you have extracurricular activities right before it, put on alarm on your phone so that you can remember to get out early. If you think any activity (not related to your course) will take time and make you arrive late in class, send an e- mail well in advance, informing him of your tardiness. Teachers appreciate this little effort.
- Try to sit in the first few rows
Where you sit makes a lot of difference. I remember I’d automatically sit in the first few rows for the subjects that I loved and in the back rows for the papers I didn’t. It’s a psychological thing. Professors know you are interested in their subject because you choose to be a front bencher in their class. It means they can see you more clearly so you’re in their line of sight. And that makes it easier for you to participate in class discussions, which is crucial to making an impression.
- Pay attention
Teachers notice when you’re paying attention to their lectures and when you’re not. It’s very difficult to fool them. Make eye contact and take notes from the lecture, from the board. If you’re making eye contact, they know you’re listening. Make notes of the small details that he asks for- a particular style or particular fonts that he wants in your assignments.
Your professor’s put in a lot of effort to share knowledge in class; paying attention is a form of appreciation of your professor’s hard work. When he notices that you’re paying attention, you’ve already entered into his good books.
- Ask questions
If there’s a question that comes to your mind while your professor’s explaining a concept, don’t hesitate to ask. It shows that you’re not only paying attention to what’s being taught, but your interest in the subject. Intelligent questions, or even questions which you ask to clarify a doubt, are important not only for a healthy discussion, it also makes you stand out from the rest of your class. However, don’t ask questions just to get attention. It could completely backfire.
You don’t have to ask questions in every class to impress your teacher. Think of the question you’re asking. Is it a question whose answer is easily available in your textbook or notes? If yes, then don’t ask. Your professor will get annoyed rather than impressed.
Is it related to something that has already been covered earlier? If yes, then don’t ask the question just yet. Go back home, take a look at your notes and textbook and after that, if you still have a question, ask him during the next class or before or after a class.
- Keep your phone off the table
You do all the points mentioned above diligently and then spend one class on chatting or checking something on your phone and you get from being the most favorite to the least favorite student. It is such a put off. Ideally switch your phone off during class. If you can’t help it, keep it on silent mode, but if something urgent comes up and you must chat or message during class, excuse yourself and do it. Your teacher will appreciate if you tell them you need to use your phone due to some emergency. It shows consideration and you will earn respect.
- Appreciate your teacher
If you think you have to put in hard work for your assignment, remember your teacher has to put in double the effort. There’s a lot of preparation that goes behind one class worth of lecture. If you’ve found something interesting, you’ve enjoyed the approach to a topic, or the style of the lecture, tell your teacher so. Or if you’ve heard of some other academic achievement your professor’s recently achieved, congratulate him. He likes to be appreciated for his hard work just like you. But again don’t say something just because you have to.
- Be observant
Notice the goings-on in a class. Do you see him look for chalk/ marker or a pen? Offer it to him or help him get one. Does your professor like to give presentations? Offer to help distribute the hand-outs rather than wait for him to ask for someone to volunteer. Your assistance could earn you brownie points.
- Show your enthusiasm for the subject
If your professor’s asked you to read materials before coming to class, do so. If he has announced what you will be learning in your next lecture, read up on it. If there’s any outside class activity related to your department (like a club or a society, a debate or discussion,) participate in it. If you’ve read something interesting outside your regular course material, or read about a current event related to what you’re studying in class, share it with your professor.
- Proofread your assignments
He told you what he wants in your assignments. You need to make sure they are there in the final document.
- Ensure there are no grammatical errors and they are perfectly formatted.
- Make sure you aren’t quoting sites whose information is crowd-sourced.
- Your document needs to be genuine, interesting to read, without grammatical errors, with proper research.
- Assignments can be tough and monotonous. But they help your professors to assess how well you’ve grasped the concepts taught in class. To know how to make homework enjoyable read: Is homework a burden for your child? Or can it actually help?
- If you aren’t sure of your document, get another pair of eyes to proofread it. You can easily get it checked online through assignment help sites. After doing everything, if your assignment sucks especially over things like quoting unreliable sources and plagiarism, winning back your professor’s trust will be extremely difficult. Bad grammar just shows that you don’t really care about your assignment and it generally creates a very bad impression.
You keep these 9 simple points in mind you know you’ll create a long-lasting impression, whether you’re in high school or college. And the best bit is you don’t need to sacrifice your other interests just to be in the good books of your teachers. Being involved in other activities is a good thing and shows that you are a well-rounded person.
Make sure there’s a balance between everything, and your life’s sorted. Remember your teacher isn’t just teaching you a subject, he/she is your guide to your future and often a good impression goes a long way, much after you graduate.