As much as most of us wouldn’t like to admit it, we’ve all been a teacher’s pet at least once in our life. Maybe it was when you were a bright eyed first grader struggling to make friends, finding solace in the praise given out from your grandma-esque teacher. Or maybe you had an attractive language professor last semester with a really hot accent you just “wanted to know a little better”. Whatever the case, we’ve all been there, and we’ve also seen a few teacher’s pets crash and burn along the way. If you want to get on your professor’s good side without being a total asshole, read on.
DO sit near the front. It shows that you’re interested in the material, and even if you’re not, the chance of you falling asleep in the middle of class greatly decreases.
DON’T sit in the first row, directly in front of the podium, and gaze adoringly up at your professor like a crazed tween at a Justin Bieber concert. It makes you look desperate, and probably makes your professor pretty uncomfortable (along with everyone else in the room).
DO go to office hours. I’ve had a lot of professors myself that seemingly reserve the best grades simply for those who take initiative and ask questions in person. Professors have office hours for a reason, and it can be a big help if you’re struggling in the class. I’ve even had teachers that have held them at Irving’s or even Cafe 210 which never hurts.
DON’T (or at least try not to) text, chew gum loudly (or pop bubbles), be late to class, fall asleep, or show up drunk.
DO let the professor know if they’ve made a mistake such as announcing the wrong date for when a homework assignment is due. It’s good to get clarification, and the rest of the class is probably wondering the same thing.
DON’T correct the teacher on a daily basis. There’s always that “one kid” who seems to get off on this without realizing he’s making a fool of himself. There is a reason the professor is standing in the front of the room and you are sitting, taking notes. They know their shit.
DO answer questions, especially when no one else volunteers. Once I had a professor that just let the question hang there until someone answered. Sometimes up to a minute. No one likes an awkward silence. Just guess if you have to.
But, DON’T be an answer-whore. No one liked Hermione in the early years of Harry Potter, and that’s because she was an answer-whore. Give some other people a chance! You don’t need to prove how smart you are to the rest of the class because, trust me, they already know.
DO send your professor emails for small clarifications if you’re confused about the material or something personal has come up and you know you won’t be able to turn in an assignment. When given a fair warning most professors are pretty cool about turning in late work (as long as you have a good excuse). This is a great back up if you can’t make it to their office hours. Be careful not to overly flood their inbox, though.
And most importantly DON’T ask questions that have already been answered, DON’T refer to things in your answer that don’t even remotely relate to the question like bringing up your study abroad, and DON’T answer a question you don’t already know the answer to (I don’t want to wait for 45 seconds while you actually think up an answer after you’ve already been called on).
And if all else fails DO find out your professor’s favorite bar, and buy them a drink.