Having good relationships with your teachers, even the ones of subjects you might not enjoy, is a critical part of your high school career. This will help you with getting the non-generic recommendation letters for both college and scholarships, and establish trust between yourself and your teacher which by extension allows you to be more successful in the classroom. Finally, teachers talk. This means that you do not get a reset button year after year when you get new teachers for every subject. Teachers talk to one another about their best and worst students, and oftentimes a good relationship with one English or Science teacher can lay the groundwork for a positive relationship with the next one too.

This relationship is important because when you apply for colleges later, you want your recommendation letter to hold some weight with regard to your application. You don’t want your only options to be teachers that might not know you very well or even worse didn’t find you to be a particularly good student. Selecting the teacher that will give you a vibrant and unique recommendation letter begins with overachieving in their classes.

Developing this amicable relationship allows you to also earn implicit trust. This benefits both you and saves your teacher’s the headache of excuses. If you have made mistakes on homework or tests, and your teacher trusts you made these mistakes because you truly did not understand they are more likely to take the time to ask you about it. Also establishing trust can aid in your grades when it comes to projects or other ambiguously graded assignments. The same logic applies because if your teacher recognizes your effort and understanding of the material because they can observe your paying attention in class and asking questions they trust in the authenticity of your project or essay or whatever it may be.

Recommendation letters may sound like an excuse to focus on one teacher and neglect the extra effort in all your other classes. However, as I said previously, teachers talk to one another. It is important for your overall reputation with the faculty of your school to be a good student in all of your classes past the obvious benefits of good grades.

There are many components to achieving the benefits I’ve explained, and it doesn’t necessarily mean becoming your teacher’s favorite student. It simply means turning your homework in on time, studying for tests and asking for help. It also means going above and beyond, and taking an interest in your teacher from time to time by engaging in small talk during passing periods. Even things as simple as always being five to ten minutes early for class every day can give you the reputation you want. In short, being a good student has its advantages outside of maintaining straight As, and if you feel you haven’t done so the over the past couple years now is a good time to start!