Now that I’m in my seventh semester of college, I have been to a lot of first days of class and been taught by many different teachers. As I was sitting in class on Monday, waiting for my professor to show up, I began thinking about what kind of professor would be schooling me on politics this semester. I didn’t even know if it would be a professor, doctor, first year teacher or anything. Would he be strict, funny, interesting, dry or boring?
I think a teacher’s first impression on the first day of class is very important, from a student’s perspective. Every teacher has their own style of teaching, and the first day of class, for me anyways, is really just an hour of analyzing the teacher and making sure this is a class that 1) I can get an A in, 2) I can enjoy, at least a little bit and, 3) taught by a teacher that I will get along with and make me want to show up for class.
First impressions can be deceiving, however. Sometimes teachers want to come off as super strict on the first day so all the slackers will drop the class. Some come off as super sweet so students will like them. Some come off as very knowledgeable, even bragging about their job history or past. Some just don’t give a shit, and give you a lecture on not caring about texting in class, using a laptop or even showing up to class.
I’ve found that first impressions can either set the tone for the rest of the semester, or can be totally misleading. I had an English class freshman year where the teacher came off as very strict, with a no fun type of attitude. I immediately dropped the class and picked up a different one. Later on in the semester, I talked to a friend who had stayed in the class. He told me about how easy the class was and how nice the teacher was, accepting late homework, showing movies and getting to know the students. I was astonished, because the English class that I had picked up was actually pretty difficult.
I’ve also learned that getting to know teachers can really help you out in the end, especially when you get your final grade. Now, I email each of my professors and ask about the textbooks before class begins each semester. My emails are professional and polite, and I have a professional signature at the end of my email, with a link to my LinkedIn account. This gives me a way to not only see how professional my professors are, in email at least, but they also might remember my name when class starts AND, depending on how they end their emails, whether they are a professor or not and if they liked to be called by first name, Mr., Ms., etc.
First impressions can mean everything to students, but don’t take them for granted. Every teacher has their own style of presenting on the first day, sometimes it give you an idea of how the class is going to be taught, and sometimes it tells you nothing at all.
Have any interesting first impression experiences, comments or questions? Feel free to leave them below!