I’m proud to say that I am not guilty of any of these:
1. You have no clue what they are saying
Apparently in the US, speaking English is not always a requirement for teaching classes at 4-year universities- at least sometimes it seems that way, and this is especially true of science or math based classes. That really makes things difficult since occupations with a background in STEM education are supposed to be the future of our country.
Just because your professor knows their subject of expertise doesn’t mean they are talented at communicating their knowledge. Surprisingly, many professors may have no formal training in teaching at all.
Let’s be real: If you have to spend half the class deciphering what the hell he’s saying, your professor probably sucks.
2. They are condescending
It shouldn’t cost you thousands of dollars a year to listen to a one-way monologue with a bad attitude. Being condescending just makes us less interested in your class, what do you expect?
Students are paying to learn, so professors should be encouraging our questions, not be bothered by them. Questions are a sign that we are actually investing in the class- but if you want we can keep paying you just to stand there and keep talking at us.
3. They are always showing off
4. They play favorites
You know you’ve seen this before. You’re sitting there, waiting to talk to the professor during his office hours, and that girl with double D’s who never shows up to class just got the extra help that you needed. In their defense, many of these girls have mastered the art of cute-crying during finals week so well, they may not even realize they are doing it anymore.
Professors should already be used to this though. If a professor can’t balance their time to help out everyone, that’s a sign that they might suck.
5. Their notes come straight from the textbook publisher
Professor Pro Tip: If you want to be a professor without preparing at all for your class, just teach off the publishers slides.
Unfortunately this “Pro Tip” can be flat out awful for students. Being a professional educator comes with a commitment to improve your curriculum and teaching methods, not just recite the same lesson year after year. Your department has access to course materials that are supposed to serve as a guide for professors to build upon, NOT as the only teaching materials they use. It’s not the students fault the professor isn’t focusing on their main job… you know teaching?
6. They barely have office hours
7. Their research sucks/is lame
Research: The ultimate fallback for a lame prof.
If your professor doesn’t seem very invested in your class, then at the very least they should be leading relevant research for your department and for the greater benefit of humanity in general. However, if your professor has never mentioned his own research during class hours, or hasn’t found a way to help students understand it, then you likely have a professor that isn’t even passionate about what they are doing.
8. They purposefully try to fail everyone
Grades are supposed to be a measure of student achievement, not a way for professors to brag about how hard they are or prove their toughness to the rest of their department. Sadly, many professors believe in only giving out a finite number of A’s, no matter how well the class does. That is like academic communism.
Contrary to what most professors believe, having an extremely low class average usually doesn’t mean you are that rigorous of a teacher, or that your students will be the next Einsteins- it usually just means that you suck.