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5 tips to help you talk to intimidating teachers

If you need to redo a test you bombed, could use an extension on a paper or you just need some clarification on your homework, you’re going to need to talk to your teacher. However, that can be a scary thing to do. They hold your grade in their hands and—let's face it—not all teachers are super nice.

But believe it or not, conversing with adults *is* a skill, and it's an important one to have. It’s totally okay if you are nervous to approach a teacher, but it’s not cool to simply avoid getting the assistance you need just because you’re intimidated. A short and simple conversation could help your grades, so here are some helpful tips about how to talk to your teachers.

Know that they are people, too.
Your teachers are just like you: They make mistakes, they have feelings and—believe it or not—they have lives outside of school. They're normal people!  So when you approach them respectfully with a problem, they are more than likely going to understand what you’re going through.

Remember they want to help.
Your teacher likely didn’t become a teacher just so they could listen to their own voice all day. It's more likely that they became a teacher because they want to help children succeed in school. So when you do present them with your issue, they'll be compassionate and ready to help. That said, though they have a nose for when students are struggling, they aren't mind readers—so they can’t help you unless you ask for it.

Show that you care.
Teachers respect students that stand up for themselves and reach out to them. Speaking up not only shows that you can take initiative, but that you care about your grades and what they are teaching you, too.

Be polite.
This goes not just for teachers, but everyone you talk to. Use "please," "thank you," "sir," and "ma’am," when talking to them. Don’t yell, roll your eyes or use sarcasm—and don't even *think* about looking at your phone while they're talking. Bottom line, treat them with the respect you would want if you were a teacher.

Are you scared to talk to your teachers? Why? Let us know in the comments!

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by Maddie Smith | 11/12/2017
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