We're quickly approaching back-to-school season — and if you've ever taken any sort of class, you know that the person teaching it can really make or break the whole course. This is especially true in college, where multiple professors teach the same class and potentially hold your future in their hands.
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You know the whole, "If I had taken it with that professor, I'd have gotten a better grade" thing.
So, when u/MildlyAgitatedBidoof asked, "What are some red flags for teachers that scream 'drop this class immediately'?" many people came forward to share their experiences with bad professors as a warning to anyone currently selecting classes (and validation for those of us who've already been through it). Check out what they said:
1."I had a teacher that I loved, but everyone hated: my economics teacher. He was an absolute madman. On the first day of econ, he shouted, 'First rule! Any and all cellphones are to remain off! If I see you using them, I will throw them out the door!' Then, a cellphone rang. It was his. He looked at the class, grabbed his cellphone, and threw it out the door, saying, 'I didn't need to talk to my wife anyway!'"
2."No one will get an A in this course because [insert some philosophical highbrow BS answer]."
3."One professor claimed that she didn't allow people to step out of class to use the bathroom. 'You're all adults, not children, you can hold it,' she said. Exactly, lady. We're adults, we paid to be here, and adults have to use the bathroom."
4."In our first lecture, my professor for Intro to Communications said, 'I don't believe in the artificially inflated grading system we are experiencing, so I grade on a strict bell curve. There are 25 people in this class, so no matter how well everyone does, some of you are getting an F.' You may not care about that inflated grading system, but the job market and grad schools certainly do.
5."My tenured organic chem professor asked, 'Any questions?' and 50 hands went up. He then said, 'It's a fairly simple concept, so you'll get there. Let's move on.'"
6."I had a drawing professor who put a stack of pre-signed withdrawal forms on his desk. He told us to grab one when we were ready."
7."'These books are required for the class. I wasn't able to get the revision into the bookstore in time, so the only places you can get them from are from me directly or on my website. I will warn you, if you don't buy the books, you won't get the login information to be able to take the final, which is 90% of your grade. ... Oh, and no, I can't accept financial aid for them, but it's only $250, so it's not a big deal.' I've never seen an entire class get up five minutes in and leave before."
8."Too many people got A's last semester, so I'm changing my syllabus for you all."
9."When they think that their students should only focus on this particular class for the upcoming semester, as if they should spend all their time on it."
10."When they really put down good students for small mistakes."
11."'This is my first time teaching, so you'll be my guinea pigs.' Her test averages were in the low 50s with no scaling. It was great."
12."When they read the PowerPoints word for word. I. Can. Do. That. At. Home. Teach, please."
13."Back when I started college, I got straight A's in a class, but when I checked my overall grade, I had a B+. I found it odd and questioned my professor about it. He said that he dropped my grade down because the class was a bit of a pain in the ass (he didn't use those exact words, but that's what he meant). I then asked him if I did anything wrong or disturbed class or whatever, and he promptly told me that I didn't and was a great student. So, I asked pointblank, 'Why is my grade lower then?' and he just gave me the same excuse. I questioned if he was planning to change my grade at all as I had only A's, and he promptly said he wasn't going to change it.
"Fast-forward a few days: I ended up filing a complaint about him and his method of grading students, and the college made him change my grade. After that, he approached me and said something like, 'Hey, you didn't have to file a complaint about me. I was going to fix your grade.' Yada, yada."
14."'Get out the textbook and work on Chapter 5, Activity 1.' *Proceeds to sit down at their desk to do random things on their computer.*"
15."I saw a course at my college called, 'Digital Media and American Culture.' Sounds neat, I thought. The professor — he was an 80-year-old man — arrived 10 minutes late, got up, and literally asked a student in the front to tell him how many Facebook friends she had and then 'how many REAL friends' she had. He was then flabbergasted when he asked if anyone in the classroom had read 1984, and most of the class raised their hands. He was 100% convinced that millennials never pick up books anymore.
16."I had a professor that, in hindsight, I really should have dropped. It was a class on the history of western civilization. On the first day, he spent the entirety of the class talking about how he missed his old job teaching in Europe because 'American students are lazier and incapable of getting as high of grades.' Then, he showed us intro YouTube videos from his personal laptop that he had hooked to a projector. All of the recommended videos had titles like 'grinding with thong,' 'sexy college babe grinding,' etc. I thought he was just eccentric, but the guy was easily the worst teacher I ever had. The only students in the class with A's were women, and he would grade their quizzes differently and more leniently. (We compared quiz results.) Someone in class called him out, and he said that he was tired of teaching Americans and doesn't get paid enough.
"He would expect you to totally memorize all the chapter, as in, he would quiz on material that didn't matter for concepts. For example, he once asked, 'What was the name of Caesar's second cousin?' when the information would only be found in a huge family tree."
17."When they give you a test on the first day that WILL be counted against you. I had one of my mathematics professors do this."
18."I took an economics course and bombed the first test. I went to the professor and told her, 'I really want to do well in your class. What are some suggestions you might have on how I can be successful?' She looked at the grade on the test and said, 'You should drop the class and change your major.'
19."I've had teachers that I just simply couldn't understand due to a language barrier. In hindsight, I should have dropped immediately. I learned that, basically, if you can't understand what the professor is saying, be prepared to teach yourself a lot of the class. I once had an accounting professor and had no idea what she was saying. I remember sitting in that class on the first day scratching my head. I looked around, and a lot of the other people had the same look on their faces. The next week, I showed up to class, and what was once a classroom of about 40 people was down to 12. I should have known right there to drop, but I didn't.
"I stuck it out. A few weeks went by, and it didn't get any better. I got my first test back and completely bombed it. I told myself right then that I was going to have to teach myself the material and that coming to class was pointless.
"I taught myself accounting by using the textbook. Since I didn't go to class, I missed all of her pop quizzes but just told myself I'd make it up on the tests. I only showed up for tests and the final, and lo and behold, I passed the class."