I know that when I was a student, I was often afraid to ask my teachers any questions during class. I didn’t want to look stupid in front of my other classmates. But, I didn’t like to talk to them about my questions before or after class either! It was much too intimidating. But now I’m on the other side, and I see how important it is for students to have good communication with their teachers.
It’s a good thing to get to know your teacher, and feel comfortable with them. Some of them may look or seem intimidating, but they’re just like you or me. As long as you approach your teacher with the same respect you show others, you shouldn’t feel worried or intimidated to talk to them. It may help you to pay attention to what your teacher says about his/her personal life. For example, if your teacher loves music and you play guitar, you may feel more comfortable coming up to her with that common ground. Common interests are what paves the way for friendly relationships.
Teachers, as busy as they may seem, are concerned about you and your education. If you’re falling behind in class, or not understanding the material, go up to them after class and ask if this is a good time to explain something to you. If it’s not a good time, they will tell you when they have the time to help you out. Good teachers won’t leave you hanging. And they’ll even try to help you out at a time that’s most convenient for you. However, you may have to skip out on a couple of lunches with your friends.
That being said, if you’re far behind in your work, don’t expect that your teacher will just bypass it all. Be prepared to put in some work and effort to get caught up, or to understand the material better. Just like they’re putting in the extra effort and work to help you out, they expect that you put in the same level of effort.
Remember to be honest with your teacher. After a few years of experience, your teacher has probably heard every excuse in the book. They’re pretty good at telling if you’re lying or not too. So just be honest, tell them why you really didn’t do well on that test and how you’d really appreciate a retake. Remember, teachers aren’t monsters and they don’t want their students to fail. They actually want you to succeed. Most teachers will go out of their way to help you if they feel you honestly want and need that help.
What if you’re really shy and feel like you just can’t go talk to your teacher? Here’s a list of things that might help you out:
- Write down a list of things you want to talk to your teacher about
- Bring a close friend with you
- Talk to a teacher you already feel somewhat comfortable with, or really like. They can give you advice on other teachers, or even set you up an appointment
- Talk to your school counselor
- See your teacher during their ‘office hours’ when there won’t be as many other students around
- Talk to your teacher before/after class when the other students haven’t arrived
Remember, your teachers are looking out for your best interest. If you talk to them about your troubles, concerns or difficulties, they will be more than willing to help you out. Communication with your teacher is also a great way to get more out of class and your education. Don’t forget to get those communication lines open with your teacher.