By Laura Herbes
Your bag is packed, filled with number two pencils, highlighters, post it notes, and books. It’s your first college lecture. You sit in the front row ready to absorb as much knowledge as possible. The professor walks in turns on a powerpoint and begins to read. Next thing you know the class is over and you have no idea what happened. This is what I like to call a dead end class. A professor can either make or break a class. When you get stuck in the class with an inadequate professor there is a very good chance you will not do well. The professor may be the best in his or her field but that does not mean they are able to teach what they know to others. When you get that professor that does not make any sense, and just reads off his computer going on and on, there is a good chance you are already on the path to failure. At this point is it really your fault?
“That’s just the way it is,” is a term you will hear often in your life, but in no way should it apply to the college world. This is the place where change is supposed to happen.
Say you get stuck with the worst philosophy professor on campus, you hear that you should have picked a different class. That is the common response you will receive in the college world. Advisors will tell you to sign up for tutoring, and that can help; however, is the real issue the fact that the professor is an inadequate teacher? Instead of saying “that’s just how it is,” maybe we should be asking how we can change the predicament of being stuck in a dead end class.
Now this is not to say that all professors are bad. You have those few professors that go to all lengths to help you as a student succeed. They are also the professors whose classes fill up the quickest due to the fact that everyone wants to take them. It is up to the professors to make a class desirable—to create an essay learning environment, and to help their students do the best they can.
When going to college you are essentially paying thousands of dollars for a product. That product being an education. Many times, the class you are paying for is staffed with a poor instructor; therefore, as college students, we are not always receiving the product/education we are paying for. This is a major dilemma due to the fact that the inadequate professor is the one who decides your grade.
It is important to know, though, that all the fault can most certainly not be put on the professors, as the majority of them are completely invested in their job, their students, and the material they are teaching. This being said, it is just as much up to students to work their hardest, and do the best they can in all their classes, because, more than likely, each and every professor will be willing to work with them to ensure they do their best, and receive all they can out of the class.
The real question to consider then, is whether or not it is time for a change in our education system. Maybe we should look back at the early scholasticism and the medieval universities where the students did the hiring and firing. Maybe then students would have even more opportunities to be more successful than they already do, because they would make sure that all of their professors actually cared about their students and the material they are teaching, as so many of them already do.