A lot of smart girls have started going back to school for the year, it’s the perfect time to talk about first impressions. First impressions with teachers are so important. These are the people you’ll be working with for the next year! And, we all know, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Over the years, I’ve come up with a few key things to ensure I make a good first impression.
Be prepared. Starting from day one, you should show up to class prepared to learn. If you receive a school supply list before classes start, make sure you show up to class with all the specified materials. Chances are you won’t need everything on the first day, but it shows the teacher that you’re responsible. My school doesn’t send out supply lists, so you have to wait until classes start for the teachers to give out lists unique to their classes. If this is the case, ask an older sibling or friend what materials they needed for certain classes. By high school you’ve probably decided what supplies work best for you, but it’s good to know which teachers have lots of hand outs, which teachers don’t hole-punch papers, etc. If anything, make sure you at least have pens and paper for the first day. You don’t want to be that one kid not taking notes on curriculum requirements and first day assignments!
Know where you’re going. Going to a new school for the first time? Try to run through your schedule a couple times before classes start. While most teachers are pretty lenient when it comes to tardiness on the first day, you’ll be so much less anxious if you know where you’re going! If you get to class a couple minutes early you might have time to introduce yourself to the teacher before the class starts.
Ask questions. If something is unclear, don’t hesitate to ask! Nothing’s worse than being confused from the start. If you have questions about summer work, email the teacher for clarification. While some teachers may be taking the break to relax away from teenagers, they’ll check their email at some point before school starts. Even just a quick email will show them that you care, and they’ll remember your name once classes begin.
Pay attention. No one likes when people interrupt and talk over them, especially teachers who have to deal with it all the time. While teachers will most likely be less harsh about chatty kids on the first day, you don’t want to put yourself in the position of being coined the “class chatterbox” for the rest of the year. You also don’t want to miss out on some potentially important information!
Don’t skip the review. A lot of classes have review work for students to do over the summer so they don’t totally forget everything they spent nine months learning. Even if this work is optional, at least look over it before going to class. Especially in higher level courses, teachers don’t waste time. You don’t want to be the one person sitting in AP Spanish who doesn’t know what’s going on when the teacher spends the entire class speaking in Spanish. A little bit of review never hurt anyone!
I hope everyone has had a great summer and I wish the best start to the school year for everyone!