It happens once in a blue moon. A student makes him or herself memorable to me in a positive way (hey, the negative stuff happens frequently, as you have seen on this blog). How do you want to leave a good impression? Write your instructor a thank you note.
Now don’t take the backside-kissing method like Eddie Haskell would have done (think Leave it to Beaver here). Your goal should not be to get a better grade.
Your goal should be to do something very nice for someone who really does care about your education. Your instructor, though he or she may not look like it, may be working multiple jobs because the pay at one is so low. Your professor may be carrying a full load of classes and may have, by the luck of the draw, gotten 4 or 5 different classes, each of which requires a different prep.
The hours can be very long, and we have deadlines to meet on our final grades. We may have an end-of-the-term grading marathon going on, and have some students who waited until the last two days of class to suddenly care about their grades and want to pressure us into giving them credit they don’t deserve.
You can make things so much better for us and ease our burdens a bit by writing us a note or an email, telling us something specific that you liked about our course. Be upbeat; be positive. Be remembered for your kindness.