OPINION: Dealing with Difficult Teaching Styles

Story by Shelbey Pena
Feature Photo via Unsplash

I think I can speak for all students when I say you are not going to like every professor you have. This is my second semester at Central Michigan University and I have already come across some professors that I did not benefit from or simply just did not get along with.

Whether it’s a professor that enjoys arguing with students or a professor that isn’t delivering the material how they should be, there’s always a choice for us as students.

The first issue I had with a professor was in a class for my major. This bummed me out because I would have adored the class if it weren’t for the professor.

In fact, the professor and I had so many issues that I thought about changing majors. Luckily, I didn’t.

Prepare and execute all assignments
Even if professors are difficult, it is still your responsibility to execute all of your assignments and exams.

I made sure all of the work I turned in was perfect. I went above and beyond to perfect my work. I even turned assignments in much earlier than needed to avoid being told I didn’t turn something in when I most definitely did.

Drop or Keep the Class?
In college, we have the choice to drop classes when needed. Sometimes, though, we must tough it out and do the best that we can.

If the professors teaching methods don’t fit your learning style, it may be best to drop the class. If you do well in the class and just do not get along with the professor, consider your options before dropping.

Even though the professor’s teaching habits difficult for me, I still continued through the class until the end of the semester for it was too late for me to drop the class.

I was taking another class towards my major, and I realized halfway through the semester that I did not know what the course was even about.

I was doing well in the class up until the final. The final went over everything from our book, but the professor never talked about the book. Yes, I should have read the book more, and unfortunately, I knew that I was going to have to retake the class once I was given the final.

It is an issue for some to retake the class because you are paying for a class you already took. So instead of paying for the class once, you pay for it twice. Because of this, students learn to take alternate routes if they do not have the choice to retake or cannot afford it.

Determination to Learn Better
I could have kept my grade, but I needed to know what the class was about. The following semester, I took the class with a new professor and actually understood the material.

You will not always like your professors, but there are ways to get through the classes, or even take the same class with another professor. There is nothing wrong with having the determination to learn in order to reach the next level of your academic year successfully.

Sending Constructive Feedback
There’s a way to have checks and balances within your college experience – SOS forms.

However, if there is some time before SOS forms are distributed, don’t forget, you can take steps to bring up constructive criticism to the head department of the course.

There is always the option to talk to an advisor. An advisor can help you get tutoring that you may need or they may point you in the right direction when it comes to dealing with he professor. If you feel it is necessary to send a complaint to the professor’s department, they can direct you with that as well.

Choosing the Right Professor
There are plenty of ways to figure out if a professor is right for you. You can ask other students who have had that professor or you can use the site RateMyProfessor. Many students use that website to write reviews on certain professors. If you notice a negative trend in the reviews, try to see if a different professor teaches the desired class.

Ultimately, how well you do in college depends on you. You have the responsibility to choose classes and therefore, choose the right professors.