School girl talking to her teacher in the hallway.A new school year and students you know what that means? An opportunity for you to start building a great foundation and relationship with your teachers. Why is it important? First, kindness is a virtue, so there’s that on that. And, colleges recognize that your teachers spend the most time with you and trust them to provide insight on you as a student and a person.

Here are some things to consider:  

Get off on the right foot 

First thing, arrive on time to class. It shows your teacher that you respect their time and are prepared for the lesson. As a student-athlete, my coach made us sit at the front and engaged during class. Now, I’m not saying you have to sit at the front, but listening to the teacher, taking copious notes, and focusing on the discussion will help with earning those brownie points. Teachers enjoy teaching students who show genuine interest in their subject. Of course, we all have our bad days, so stay consistent as much as you can, and in return, you’ll reap the benefits.  

Approach your teachers outside of the classroom 

Teachers may seem intimidating during class, but many are personable and open to interacting with their students. Remember if you’re struggling with an assignment or you’re personally going through something, talk to your teacher after class or during their office hours. Use this time to get extra help, ask questions, inquire about extra credit, or talk about your progress in class; because they’re there to help you excel and grow as a student. Plus, it is a great opportunity for you to get to know your teachers and vice versa.

Discuss your plans and goals with your teacher 

Set up a time to meet with your teachers and discuss what you are doing both in and outside of school. It keeps them informed and will help you tremendously as a senior as they may provide resources for your future endeavors like scholarships and academic programs, and understanding your interests and goals will allow them to share their input with you. Ultimately, this process is the most important because it’s getting you ready for the big leagues.  

Carefully choose teachers for letters of recommendation 

It is important to give thought and consideration to which teachers you will ask to write your letter of recommendation. For some of you, your letter of recommendation might be the determining factor if you will receive a scholarship or internship. Therefore, ask a teacher who knows you the best, maybe someone who witnesses your growth throughout high school or knows you on multiple levels. Remember not to choose a teacher just because you did well in their class, the recommender will discuss your character, your hobbies, honors, awards, etc.

Pro tip, when you’re ready to ask your teacher for a recommendation, make sure you give them your resume. If you do not have one, use our Activities Resume to create it. Freshmen, I’m looking at you, start one now as I’m sure you will not remember all your involvement once you’re a senior.

Start Early

All and all, it’s important to foster strong relationships early in your high school career, the more teachers get to know you and the harder you work in their classes, the more effort they will put in your letter of recommendation. Most importantly, show your appreciation for their time and effort.