Why You Should Stay in Touch with Past Teachers
In today’s world with social media and technology, it is easier than ever to stay in touch with old classmates and believe it or not teachers. While every school and educator may have policies about personal communication boundaries; generally, it is acceptable to remain in touch with teachers and there are a number of advantages to doing so.
Teachers put in a lot of work, time, and effort to educate their students. That means your former teachers have invested a lot in you. Keeping in touch with them can help them see the outcome of what they have put into your life and, also open the door for staying in touch to update each other on “what’s new”. Now, you do not necessarily have to try to make your past teachers your best friend, but with some open communication channels you just may find that staying in touch with your past teachers could possibly help your future academic and life careers.
Networking is an Important Skill
Depending on your grade level you may or may not have read that networking is the single most important factor to getting a job. You may not be concerned with getting a job today, but the larger your network the better. Networks take time to develop and it is important to have a large and vibrant network. Your teachers over a lifetime will literally be connected to hundreds, if not thousands of students and their parents. You never know who they may be able to connect you with, as you move further on through academia and into the workforce. In the workforce it is not always WHAT you know, but WHO you know.
Related to having a network is having good references. Whether it is for a job, volunteer position, or for academic success, you will need great references at some point. In fact, most, if not all, school and scholarship applications require an academic reference. It would be pretty awkward for you to get in touch with a teacher that you have not spoken to in several years and ask for a reference. However, if you have kept even very casual communication open (a Christmas card once a year or the odd communication via social media), it would be much more comfortable for both of you to have a conversation.
Teachers Like to be Updated
Teachers are real people with real feelings. There are countless stories in books and online of teachers who look back on their career in their retirement and senior years who recount stories of their favorite students; the joys of having successful former students; and friendships that have lasted for many years. You can certainly benefit from a relationship with your teachers; but the benefit for them could be just as great and rewarding too.
Your teacher has “seen it all” and they will have had students from the past who have had the same challenges that you might have. From their education, experience, and insight, teachers can provide useful input and even when you are not in their class any longer, they are more than likely going to continue to encourage your personal development. Listen closely to their advice, you can always learn something new from an old teacher and it just may be the answer to solving a major problem at some point in the future. Lessons learned outside of the classroom can be just as important as ones learned while sitting at a desk in a classroom.
Your tutor is a teacher. At Chelsea International Education, all of our tutors are certified teachers and professors who deeply care about the personal and academic success of all their students. As tutors they play a different role than the teachers in your classroom, but they have invested in your future and if you were to ask your Chelsea tutor today if they like to stay in touch with former students and appreciate it when former students reach out, they most likely would say “yes”. The teacher-student relationship is a two-way street that does not have to end once you move on to a higher grade or higher level of education. Remember, it is a good idea to remain in contact with former teachers.