How To Support Teachers in the New School Year

how to support teachers

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  • The switch to virtual learning environments threw off more than just students.

    Teachers, who are sometimes students themselves, had to tackle the same challenges as you, just from the other side of the coin.

    If you’re looking for ways to make the semester a smoother experience for you and your teacher, consider these tips on how to support teachers in the new school year.

    Come Prepared

    Teachers have probably been harping on your class to come prepared since elementary school, but there”s a good reason for this. As most curriculum lessons build on previous ones, teachers need you to be up-to-date on the prior lessons and assigned work so that today’s lesson makes sense to you.

    If classes don”t have a piece of homework due for every lesson, teachers can’t psychically know how caught up you actually are when you come to class.

    If you do find that something is causing you to fall behind, communicate this to your teacher, as they may be able to assist you with getting back on track and help prevent you from ending up too far underwater in their course.

    Be Attentive & Responsive

    For teachers and professors who have continued to work throughout the pandemic, keeping virtual students engaged is one of their biggest hurdles to date.

    Put yourself in their shoes for a moment and consider just how nerve-racking it is to ask a question and be answered by a silent Zoom call.

    Whether you’re taking online, hybrid, or on-campus classes, take the initiative and be the student who openly asks clarifying questions and gives answers.

    Even if the answer is wrong, the way you respond helps your teacher understand which parts of the lesson aren’t making sense and need clarification. Chances are that you aren’t the only one with that same question.

    Show Appreciation

    An easy way to support your teachers is to show them appreciation. Being courteous in emails and in class goes a long way, of course. However, bringing a gift for the teacher is an even bigger gesture, especially at the beginning or end of the semester, and is well-accompanied by a brief letter or card telling them you appreciate their efforts.

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    While a gift card might be a bit too forward considering the mentor-like relationship between a teacher and student, a gift specifically relating to their position would be a good direction to start. Consider gifting your teacher a book about their area of study or a plaque that features a meaningful quote. They’re sure to love the thought you put into this gift.

    Being a good student doesn’t mean getting perfect grades. It means understanding that your teacher is a human being and valuing the effort they put into their lessons. Contributing to their class and recognizing the work they do is the perfect way to support teachers in the new school year.

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