School gets increasingly difficult–because, let’s face it, that’s the point! If it got easier as you move up through the grades, then you wouldn’t learn anything new and it would all be a royal waste of your time. So, consider yourself lucky that school gets harder! And, with every start of a new semester, there comes a whole pack of new teachers with differing expectations the minute you step foot into their classroom. As you walk onto campus on the first day of school, and as you reunite with all your peers that you haven’t been around for months, the last thing you want to think about is how to strategically rub your teachers the right way. That’s what the second day of school is for. And, all the days after that until finals, when you get another prolonged school break that you are already missing now that you’ve been back to school for a few hours. Don’t worry, it’ll fly by before you know it. And, since time does seem to pass at an alarming rate once the semester gets underway, you might as well try to impress your teachers by meeting their expectations from Day One. So, here’s how:

1. Show up on time, every time.
There are times when you have to miss school because you’re sick or have other responsibilities to your family or sports teams, but if you are in school that day, make sure you show up to class on time. You might not think that a couple of minutes after the bell rings to take your seat is a big deal, but to teachers that only have an hour or so to get an entire lesson across per period, a couple of minutes makes all the difference. How would you feel if the roles were reversed, and people weren’t hustling to hear you talk? Let other classmates be the ones that get the eye-rolls from the teacher when they straggle into the room late. The ones that are continually late won’t be the ones that receive special attention or extra credit opportunities when exams roll around.

2. Mark your calendars.
Every first day of school is a breeze, and you know why–it’s syllabus day! Most students are on auto-pilot: adjusting back to being in a desk chair all day, wandering around finding their new buildings and classrooms, and thinking about what the semester entails when it comes to events and friends. The first day of school is exciting, there’s so much to look forward to! Because of this, syllabi usually get shoved in a binder and virtually are forgotten about until the first assignment or project is due, but don’t let this happen! Mark up the syllabus with notes or a highlighter, so that you know exactly what’s expected out of you to make the grade. Transfer over any important dates into an agenda book or day planner immediately, so that they’re locked in the calendar permanently and you won’t overlook them.

3. Participate.
You don’t have to be the student that always has something to say, for having a never-ending opinion could potentially be distracting to the rest of your classmates and even deter the lesson from being taught correctly. You should, however, at least try to participate from time to time. In doing so, it conveys to your teacher that you care about learning the subject at hand. Respect is a two-way road, and don’t think that just because you’re younger and a student that your teachers shouldn’t respect you in return. By showing an interest in the subject that they’re passionate about and the way that they teach it, you create a mutually respectful relationship with your teachers that most students don’t know is available to them.

Do you have tips on meeting new teacher expectations? How do you start your semesters on track? Share your school secrets in the comments!