Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Perfect Professor - A Post With Some Give & Take! A Point/Counterpoint For Our Times

  1. Is actually there for office hours. [A good student realizes that office hours are finite, and scheduled around other classes, department meetings, committee meetings and other responsibilities. Not showing up for your scheduled appointment -- or showing up late -- is rude and throws everyone else off. Don't show up at the END of office hours and act huffy when I can't help you because I have to be across campus for another class.]

  2. Responds to emails and/or messages within a reasonable time period. [Reasonable time period" is subjective. If you e-mail me at 10 PM on a Friday night, you probably will not get a response until Monday. This is entirely reasonable, as professors have lives off campus. We do not live to serve you exclusively.]

  3. Makes it possible to get an A , not easy, but possible. On the same subject does not start the term with statements like "It's almost impossible to get an A in my class..." We know right then and there you are an asshole, and begin to treat you as such. [It is always possible to get an "A." You have to be willing to work for it. It's usually not easy, which is what students seem to want. I am not an "asshole" for making you work for an "A."]

  4. Dresses as if they were aware they speak in front of groups of people. Not that a professor's clothes make or break the prof, but be aware. [I am not in front of you to be a fashion plate. I will dress professionally and comfortably. You are not in class to evaluate my sense of style, you are in class to learn the subject at hand.]

  5. Returns assignments within reasonable time periods, provides feedback and comments on ways to improve. [Again, "reasonable time frame" is subjective. I am only human -- if I have sixteen ten-page papers to read, think about and make constructive comments on, chances are you will not get your paper back the very next day.]

  6. Is clear on their expectations for assignments and clear on exam questions. [Course expectations and requirements are listed on the syllabus. It is expected that you pay attention and learn all of the material, and expect that it will ALL turn up on the exam. I do not teach to "the test," because this is not high school. All the material is relevant, whether I turn it into an exam question or not.]

  7. Recognizes that we, in fact do have classes other than theirs and responsibilities outside of the school such as jobs, children etc...not every second of every waking minute outside of class can be spent on their subject. [It's acknowledged that students have other responsibilites outside of my specific class. However, budgeting your time to fit all of those responsibilites is YOUR issue. If you choose to slack off in my class to make up time for another set of responsibilities, that is your CHOICE. See #3.]

  8. Knows that yes, we do give a crap about our GPA, it can make or break our entire post graduate education. [Your GPA is important. However, it is not my job to lob softballs so that you can pad your GPA. I am concerned with your assimilation of the material, not your GPA. Again, see #3.]

  9. At least ACTS like they give a crap if we learn from them or not, if they hate their job, ok fine, I can respect that but if they continue to do this job, then at least make the attempt to do it properly, don't take it out on us that you make the wrong career choice and we still have a shot at happiness. ["Acting like you give a crap" is reciprocal. If you act like you give a crap about the material and your education in general, most professors will respond positively. Eye-rolling, sighing, texting and sleeping are counter-productive in this regard.]

  10. Does not look up our skirts, even when they are too short, we don't have much time left in our lives that we can get away with clothes like this! [See #4. Dress appropriately if you want to be taken seriously. Clothes you can "get away with" should be saved for Friday nights.]