How to deal with a bad professor?

How to deal with a bad professor?

In universities, it is a real struggle to deal with a bad professor. Some professors can be friendly and supportive, while some can be arrogant and not very favorable. So this second type of professor can be called “Bad professors.” Because a professor is a significant person for a student during their university education, they need to understand their nature. Being friendly with the professors might help you improve in educational matters, get a higher GPA, find occupation easily with their contacts, etc. This article is not for you to judge your professors, but to get an idea about how a professor should interact with the students. Or if you become a professor one day, here are some tips for you to be a cool professor among the students. 

So what are the parameters to identify a professor as bad? 

We usually consider a professor as ‘’bad’’ according to his/her way of delivering the lecture, making questions for the exams or questions that are asked orally at the VIVA exams, the level of support that he/ she gives for a student during the final year research problems and other intermediate assignments, the way of marking students’ examination answer sheets, the way they react to the students when meeting them personally or face-to-face, the way they mentor the students and counseling the students when the students need help, etc. 

When considering the way of delivering a lecture, there are some qualities that a professor should practice with. Some of them are,

  • Introduction for the lecture and learning outcomes of the lecture should be clearly discussed. So the students get an interest in the lecture.
  • The voice should be adequately audible for every student. (He/She shouldn’t only teach to the front bench students, but for the backbench, students must also be audible) If the professor’s voice is inaudible, the lecture becomes boring, and it becomes a waste of time.
  • The speed and the clarity of the lecture must be good. The lecture speed should be compatible even for the weakest student in the class. 
  • Important points should be stressed during the lecture.
  • The professor should be well prepared, and the lecture materials should be well-organized and presented understandably.
  • He/ She should encourage the students to ask questions. In that way, he/ she can estimate how far the students have grasped the lecture so far.
  • The relevance of the lecture for the practical or clinical work should be illustrated to the students. Otherwise, students might feel like the lecture is irrelevant for their field of study.
  • Should encourage the students to do further reading on the subject without only sticking to the lecture materials. As the resource person, the professor should recommend the relevant books for the students to refer to. 
  • In the end, the lecture should be summarized. This helps the students to understand the correlation of the lecture. But with the time period allocated for the lecture, some professors might not be able to deliver a summary. That’s okay if you have paid attention equally throughout the lecture as a student. 
  • Quality and lecture delivery must not be interrupted by the internet and network conditions. This problem occurs when the lectures are conducted via online platforms. Practically, the professors may not be able to deal with the connection problems of every student. But the network of the professor should be stable, most importantly. And he/ she should be fair enough to deliver the lectures equally for every student. And the problems with the connections should be minimized in some manner.
  • A professor should be able to retain the attention of the students throughout the lecture. If not so, we usually call them “boring lectures.” 
  • At the end of the lecture, all the learning outcomes should be achieved. He/She should ensure that the students have learned up to the standards of the degree. 

So you can review how far your professor is practicing these qualities. In most universities, there are evaluation forms that students can evaluate the lectures delivered by the professors. This helps the university decide whether to keep the professor, make his mistakes, improve within the university, or fire him. So this is how you can legally deal with a bad professor without confronting him. Or, if the professor is really bad at teaching, you may act legally and remove him from your course schedules. This depends on how strong the student unions are in the universities. Sometimes you can be helpless but deal with it throughout your degree.

When considering the questions given for the exams and the questions that are asked orally during VIVA exams, some professors can be pretty tough. If your course unit is very heavy and complicated, this can ruin your GPA as well as your self-confidence. This is a little bit of a human factor that a professor should consider when asking questions. Officially they can ask questions from anything during exams. 

How to deal with a bad professor?

Therefore, as students, you should be knowledgeable enough to answer those questions. Or if the questions are too tough and unfair, you can complain to the higher professionals about the matter. But you should provide enough evidence when handling such a problem. When considering marking, professors can be very tough. Now, this is the situation that bias may occur. If the professor comes up with a decision that you’re is not obedient enough with him, he can totally cut off your marks and ruin your GPA. But it is unethical for a professor to do so.

 But in most such cases, professors do not cut off marks from your written papers, but still, they can deduct marks from your practical and Viva exams because there’s no way to prove that you have done those correctly. If a professor favors one person and not supporting another person, that professor is unfair and unethical. And that is why you should act with the professors carefully.

The level of support given by the professor during research or an assignment is totally a humanity matter. It is up to them to decide whether to help you or not. But as the resource persons, they can help you anytime, generally. If a professor doesn’t let their students communicate with them about their problems, if they don’t give any guidance for the students to conduct the research, and if the students’ efforts are underrated and neglected, that professor is indeed a” bad professor.” Because of this reason, students have to be strong enough to conduct the researches on their own and get minimal support from the professors. But also, if a professor is unfairly unsupportive, you can always report this to the higher positions and get their help.  Again this can be biased. Therefore, being polite to professors and getting their help system will help you to succeed with your projects.

When meeting personally, some professors might not even care about your presence. And some professors ay act arrogant any unfriendly with you. That depends on the nature of the person. But as students, it is your responsibility to deal with them politely and with due respect. When you meet the professors in the mornings, you can smile at them and say, “Good morning, sir.” Or if you accidentally meet the professor out of the university, you can kindly talk to them with respect. For example: “Hello sir, looks like you have gone shopping?”

Friendly gestures like these might change their impression about you and be more supportive of you inside the university. This is totally a human factor. If the professor is still arrogant with you, then there is a problem to think about. You don’t need to go after them too much. If they still treat you underrated, you may move away with your head up. But these professors are the ones who have learned academics to their maximum but haven’t improved ethical behavior. That’s their bad. As wise students, you may deal with them carefully. 

When considering mentoring and counseling, some professors might not be very supportive due to their personal nature. It is a person’s skill that he/ she can mentor another person and help with their problems. Even though the professors have reached the climax of their education, not all can be friendly and listening. 

Being your professor doesn’t mean they have to be your counselor. But in many universities, some professors also act as student counselors. As university students tend to get depression with their tight fixed academic schedules and private problems, the deal generally at that age, they need someone senior to talk about their problems and get some help. But some professors may not have time to spend with a student individually, or some professors may not even care about your mental status. So to deal with them, you should have a proper understanding of their nature and with whom you should share your private problems because your secrets can be spelled out in front of the whole batch if you talked about them with the wrong person. 

Hope you gained some idea about dealing with ‘’bad professors’’. What is the final conclusion? Act polite and give them the due respect. 

Also read How to Get out of a Temporary Position without Souring your Contract?

How to deal with a bad professor?

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