How to Impress an English Teacher


Impressing an English teacher is not difficult, but it can get you on her good side, which is always a plus in a course where grading is at least partly subjective. You may not be able to guarantee yourself an "A" with these tips, but you can definitely improve your chances of looking like a much more committed student. What is important, however, is that your teacher will view you as invested in the course, and not just along for the ride.

  • Do all the reading. Don't think that you can impress an English teacher by faking your way through books. They know these writings better than you probably ever will, and they will know when you're skimping on homework. But if you show that you actually took time to do the required reading, you will already show more interest than at least half of the class. English teachers know that many people dislike reading, and if you can prove that you aren't one of them, you're on their good side.

  • Talk in class. Most English classes are discussion-based, and English teachers appreciate students who are willing to speak up. Note that you don't always have to be right. Don't be afraid to say something even if you aren't sure that it's what they're looking for. When a teacher is leading a discussion, they would rather have someone say something wrong than say nothing at all since they can respond to you. In the end, English teachers appreciate talkative students more, no matter how smart they really are.

  • Look up words you don't know in the dictionary. This only takes a few minutes, but if you actually bother to look up new words, your teacher will think that you are incredibly diligent. Think of how many times English teachers ask you to look up words and how many times you or your classmates actually do it. If you want to get on a teacher's good side, be the first person to actually take their advice.

  • Figure out what your teacher thinks about a particular book, story or poem, and then write one of your papers disagreeing with that idea. Your teacher won't dislike you for having a different opinion. Instead, they'll be impressed that you paid enough attention to them to thoughtfully disagree. They'll start to see you as a colleague rather than a student, and that makes them more likely to grade you positively.

  • Stay after class to talk about the book you've been assigned. Even if you were bored to tears by it, pretend to be interested. English teachers like to think that they're helping you think about "real issues," and showing interest in a book beyond what the class requires will make them think more highly of you.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never go overboard. Any teacher can sniff out a blatant brown-noser from an interested student. Using just a few of these tips will help you improve in their eyes, but if you pretend like you worship them, they'll see through you. Moderation is best.
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