Disclaimer: Anything written in this blog represents the opinions of the author, and no one else. Each blog is written lightly, and is not intended to offend any of the mentioned businesses, locations, students, or staff.
As students, we are expected to enter a classroom and accept anything and everything that our teachers and professors teach us. Furthermore, we are expected to regurgitate their preaching in quizzes, tests, and exams. We are asked to repeat this process throughout our lives for about 12 years if we wish to complete a Bachelor’s Degree, and even more years if we would like to pursue higher degrees. If you look at school in this manner, it is very easy to understand why the high school dropout rate has only increased over the years.
In order to avoid this academic epidemic, it is important to realize the purpose of school and what goal our teachers and professors have in mind when teaching us. Believe it or not, school staff members do not have the single goal to make it impossible to pass their class or to assign you papers you don’t want to write. Actually, they signed up to work at a school to benefit you; the future of the world. Somewhere underneath their layers of business casual attire and skin, is a heart that wants you to do well.
I find it easier to put trust in my professors by getting to know them on a professional level. In order for me to know when an appropriate time to question my teacher is and when I should trust them, I find that I need to learn about their credibility. This includes basic information such as where they come from, where they went to school, what they studied and maybe some fun facts about them. If you find yourself to be a person who doubts his/her teachers often, this may be helpful for you. At the same time, make sure to keep a professional boundary, and not to get too personal with your teachers, otherwise it will become even harder to learn from them.
There are many ways to learn a little bit more about the lecturer in front of you in the classroom. I know what you’re all thinking: RateMyProfessors.com. Yes, this is a useful site but, unfortunately, it is also flawed. On this website, you will very rarely find a student who worked hard and took into account both his/her effort as well as that of the teacher.
Instead, most commonly, you will find students who didn’t want to work at all and who, as a consequence of their little effort, did poorly in the class. Instead of taking responsibility for their actions (or lack there of) these students tend to sign into RateMyProfessors.com and bash the teacher for having the audacity to give them the grade they earned.
On the other hand, you will find the students who are in LOVE with their teachers. These alternative students have such an appreciation for their teachers that their primary goal in writing on RateMyProfessors.com may very well be simply to get the attention of their professor when he/she let’s curiosity win and peaks onto the website.
Instead of relying on an easily-accessible website to learn about the credibility of your teachers and professors, try to use more conventional and reliable resources to learn about them. Simply entering the name of your teacher in Google very well may lead you to more information about their career and teaching than using RateMyProfessor.com or talking to your peers will. Information on Google is public, and the websites that share information about your teachers will often come from other schools or businesses for which they have worked, which are both reliable.
Other dependable resources include the website of the school you attend. Most school websites will have a location where they share a little blurb about each teacher and professor on staff. These are surprisingly informative and may put you at ease.
Remember, Schools have reasons for hiring every single staff member that they bring on board. You, too, have reason to question any one you wish. Just try to remember that teachers and professors have worked hard to land their position at your school. So, if you wish to learn more about them do some extra credit and put some time into learning about their teaching careers. Rating them doesn’t do much good.