Meeting with your high school teacher might have been in person, but now meetings happen online. Many students tell me how difficult it has been getting to know their teachers. While it is more difficult online, it is still possible to develop a relationship with your teachers.
Why does this matter? Most important, developing relationships with people who are more knowledgeable and wiser than you is beneficial. The teacher/student relationship is an especially valuable one. It is easier to learn when you understand your teacher better and your teacher understands you. This is true not only in high school, but perhaps even more so in college. High school is a great opportunity to practice building the teacher/student relationship. Besides that, some of these teachers will be writing college recommendations for you, so it is important for them to understand you as a person and as a learner. This means both during class and at other times. My advice: treat any chance to talk with your teacher as a golden opportunity.
How should you do this? Just follow these suggestions.
- Take advantage of office hours – Whatever your teacher is now calling appointments make sure to take advantage of this one-on-one opportunity to meet with your teacher.
- Review before tests – Just before a test is a great time to meet with your teacher. Before the test, you can ask – What’s the best way to study? Can I summarize this concept for you to make sure I understand it? What are the most important concepts for me to understand?
- Review after tests – After a test, schedule a meeting with your teacher to make sure you understand any questions or concepts you got wrong.
- Understand your teacher’s background – Particularly if you are interested in majoring in a field related to a class you have, get to know more about your teacher. Let your teacher know of your interest. You can ask – How did you become interested in this subject? Where did you go to college? Are there ways you can suggest for exploring a career in this area? Your teacher may have ideas about research, internships, or shadowing.
Keep in mind that your teachers are people. They are not required to spend extra time with your or time writing recommendations, but they enjoy doing it for students who are excited about learning.