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Tom Siebold

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A Word about Teacher Relations

To a large extent your experience in school will depend on the nature of your teachers and how you are able to relate to them.  It is very important for you to remember that your teachers are human too, carrying the same baggage of biases, needs, and foibles as everybody else.

Although the interpersonal skills that you employ to form relationships with your teachers are individualistic, there are some considerations you should keep in mind.

1. Show an interest in their class.  All teachers respond to students who give evidence of involvement.

2. Demonstrate classroom decorum: be on time, have the proper materials, complete assignments, participate in class discussion, and be attentive.

3. Be aware of your teachersí time constraints.  Donít, for example, expect your teachers to answer questions while they are digging out their notes for a lecture.  Visit your teachers during their office hours and keep in mind that they have a large number of students who may all want attention.

4. Give your teachers a chance.   Donít enter a class armed with someone elseís opinion of the instructoródecide for yourself.  Avoid being picky and overly aggressive.

5. Take responsibility for your own actions.  Know what you want and, by all means, stand up for what you believe to be right, but also accept responsibility for the quality of your work.  If it warrants teacher criticism, accept it with the idea that you will learn from it.