Reason #3: No One Signs Up For Their Class
One day a teacher noticed that even though she was teaching the same course as another teacher, that his sections were full and hers were not. This is viewed as a pretty bad thing at times because (1) some colleges pay you per course and (2) if your class doesn’t have enough students in it you won’t teach it and you won’t get paid. So if her own courses didn’t increase soon, she could be out of a paycheck. Students didn’t like her class because that teacher had a series of bad habits that offended people. It didn’t take long for new students to notice that the sections would not gain any students until the teacher’s names were posted. And if the names were switched later, the students would switch sections to follow the other teacher. A classroom environment should have basic standards: respectability, learning, teaching, encouragement, challenge, equity, and safety. When the classroom lacks these, folks run like The Purge…and so should you…
NEXT WEEK: Reason #4 Great Person, Bad Teacher
Reason #2. Rate Your Professor
Some teachers cannot stand the RateMyProfessor.com website, and they hate it when I promote it. Maybe they view me as being Tony Stark and the Superhuman Registration Act during Marvel’s Civil War. I don’t agree with fake testimonials given by poor performing students, but I do believe in student feedback. If you are mean and insensitive, then you need to know it. Dude, it’s a Speech Class! You’re supposed to build my confidence to speak in front of people, not destroy it! But when reading the ratings make sure to avoid ratings that lack details (i.e., “she’s really hard”, or “he makes you read”), and be very careful of angry posts that were made just after they received their final grades. I once had a student who arrived halfway through class and slept through the other half of my class. She then asked to make up all of the work that she had missed during the entire class with just three weeks left in the semester. Without a documented excuse, all I could tell her was ‘no’. That didn’t go too well. After the final grade was posted she proceeded to post the most negative review about me that I had ever seen. So I contacted RateMyProfessor.com because a teacher can contest a bad review. Oh, you didn’t know that, did you? Yep, I provided proof that her accusations were false and they removed the negative comment. So don’t read one comment and make your final decision. Also, if the ratings are low over a consistent period of time (like two years) there might be a reason why. Anyone can have a bad semester or two but when you never do anything that raises your street cred then that might be another sign altogether.
NEXT WEEK: Reason #3 No One Is Signing Up For Their Class
I couldn’t believe how I died. The battle had been intense on an insane level and I had used every special item that I had. Surely I saved before walking into the last cave…right?
WRONG. Like a cocky little idiot I had not saved my game before walking blindly into the last cave, nor had I buffed the status and healed the characters in my team. I had not saved my game for the last three hours and I passed up the opportunity to save just before walking into one of the worst boss battles that I had ever experienced in a video game. I was a fool.
Unfortunately, thousands of students returned to school this Fall and walked into a class that was just like my “cave experience”. If they ignored the signs that said that this class is more than some simple grade booster, then they will be in for a rude awakening. Just as I overlooked the trademark signs in any RPG video game that clues you in that a major boss battle is about to take place, here are a few simple signs that says that maybe you should be a bit more prepared for what lies ahead in this class:
Reason #1. Pay attention to the reaction that you get when others hear the name of your teacher
I took a guy for biochemistry several years ago, and when I say his name babies cry while dogs howl. If you get a horror movie reaction from people when you say the name of the teacher, you already know what to expect. Trust me, no teacher really wants to spill the beans on a co-worker. I work with alot of good teachers within my department, so I rarely run into this issue. However, the folks that I work with are uncharacteristically honest about peer feedback. If you are at a school that doesn’t have this kind of atmosphere then they will lie about the demon spawn that is waiting by the chalkboard down the hall just to save face. Beware…
NEXT WEEK: Reason #2, Rate My Professor Please
This summer I was honored as a Top 20 Under 40 Young Black Professional! The award goes to someone who stands out among the rest–someone who has achieved personal and professional success, with a record of community service and has given back to others through their time, talents and donations. It was very humbling to stand as an Educator amongst this great group of young professionals. There was alot of excitement and fanfare surrounding the event and it reminded me of when I graduated with my Master’s Degree.
The crowd for the moment was large, but the crowd that came to see me was small and intimate. If I had judged the level of my success based on who else celebrated with me, I would have missed the moment. Instead, I celebrated the moment as an honor and reward well-earned. When you stop to celebrate victories you produce hope which is the fuel needed to overcome the obstacles of the future. In otherwords, enjoy the good times now, so that you have the emotional support when you endure the bad.
Have you ever taken a test and said “Darn! Nothing that I studied was on that test!” I’ve been there many times, and the teacher swore on their mother-in-law’s grave that this test was fair. But why don’t I feel like it was fair? I mean, I didn’t even recognize half of the test and yet he claims that I should have known the answers.
Well, I soon learned an interesting tip: I was studying more than most of the other students in class but I was not studying and preparing for the type of test. Knowing the format of the test tells you exactly how to study and how NOT to study. If it is multiple choice, go to free, online websites to take multiple choice quizes in order to train your brain to spot the correct answer in the line up. You can also train your brain to spot the incorrect a answers. If its fill-in-the-blank, then practice using terms in sentences. Use the words out loud in sentences around people to improve your confidence in pronouncing the words–this will led to confidence in spelling the word too. If there are true/false questions, then learn to spot words like “everything” or “never” because they are clue words to a false statement.
When you can see the test questions for what they really are, you can become confident going into the test. And if you become confident, you begin to trust the knowledge that your brain has retained. And if you are trusting the material that your brain retained, then you will see significant pick up in the
better grades” category.