Teachers are easy to grade; we’ve all had good and bad ones. But pupils? We might all have been one once, but did we ever wonder how we scored? With teachers getting the Simon Cowell treatment on a daily, if not minute-ly, basis, it’s only fair to put the sandal on the other foot and look at what makes a good pupil too. Visiting schools as an author and creative writing facilitator (a kind of low calorie teacher) I form quick impressions of pupils. These snapshots are probably unfair but since when did fairness count on Teacher’s Got Talent? Here’s my list of how to pupil well.
1. Perfect isn’t perfect. Too much agreement, door-opening and car polishing is deeply suspicious.
2. Loud can be lovely. So can quiet. I love it when pupils speak up with confidence. And I love it when they whisper without it. The quietest often bring gems.
3. Eye contact is always good. If you can’t bear to look at the teacher, wear a sock on your head and paint a keen face on it.
4. Sniggering presses teacherly buttons, though I do love the word
5. Be kind to each other even if you can’t manage it with the teacher.
6. If you’re bored, explain why. It’s interesting.
7. Remember that teachers are actual, real-life eating, sleeping, pooping people.
8. Try teaching a younger sister, brother or goldfish for two minutes and fifteen seconds. You’ll realise how completely amazing your teacher is.