by Zac Gordon, Staff Writer, November 2021

Do you ever struggle with how to impress your teachers? Well worry no longer! Work smarter, not harder. This article has everything you need to know about classes at Nobles and how to get on the good side of even the toughest teachers.

English Class:

When in doubt, throw around the word ‘motif.’ Get active reading points by highlighting, circling, and drawing lots of stars and hearts in the margins. Teachers really love it when you highlight random sentences and minimally participate in class discussion. When you do decide to speak, only go as deep as the first paragraph on SparkNotes. If you didn’t finish the reading, crumple some pages to make the book look worn. Make sure you DON’T throw in a SparkNotes summary spoiler. Do NaNoWriMo. Cross-reference to make sure what you’re saying happened in the chapter you were supposed to read. Dress like an English teacher (cardigan anyone?) and come to class with a coffee in a mug that says ‘Love Trumps Hate’ or maybe a Jane Austen quote. When in doubt… act like you know what you’re talking about. 

Language Class: 

Tell the teacher you ordered food from the language speaking country. Always begin your emails with “Hello” in the language they teach, and throw in a “Good day” or “How are you?” Participate hard in any goofy language game that offers bonus points or just class cred, especially Round the World. Always get them talking about culture and history…the less time you spend on grammar, the less they can test you on.


Act like you love anything history-related. Read the current news (might seem contradictory, but it always works). Be a devil’s advocate (“but was that really their intention?”). Figure out your teacher’s political leanings (are we for or against neoliberalism?). Meet with the librarians and use their insane source-finding power. Including a JSTOR reference is huge clout and sure to appease Mr. Jankey. Make sure to get your citations right, as Mr. Jankey actually goes through each one. For AP European History, overuse the phrase “duality of man.”


Learn your times table; quick maths are always impressive. Participate in the NEML (New England Mathematics League), Mr. Nickerson’s Problem of the Week, or an Outing Club trip. Act like your calculator doesn’t work in your exam. If you forget your calculator, Assistant to the Head of Middle School Maryanne Macdonald always has a stash. Color code everything in geometry and when all else fails, use intuition that a theorem exists to write a proof (these angles have got to be equivalent, right? SAS or ASA or something? Just guess). 


Wear glasses (blue light ones if you don’t need a real prescription) and always ask “but why?” Have a list of science jokes always handy. If you get lazy, just Google “science jokes.” Join Science Faculty Christine Pasterczyk’s (CP) chess club. In Physics, just throw out “frictional,” “spring,” “gravitational,” or “applied force”—you literally have a one in four chance this explains everything being discussed. In AP Biology, be sure to know Science Faculty Jermey. Kovac’s full name and the spelling of it. Also know where he went to college. This may or may not be an extra credit question, and it seems like bad form to get this wrong.

M-block Classes:

Just show up.