Professor myths debunked

Professor myths debunked

Dec 9
Sara Tondini, Animal Sciences graduate student

As we start packing to go home and continue studying into the night for our finals, I think it's important we take the time to acknowledge the person that pushed us to learn and grow and be our better selves this semester. (No it's not your mom, although it usually is. Sorry mom.) It's your professor! A professor that is engaging and cares about their students is one of the most valuable aspects of a student’s college career. For most professors, the classes they are teaching, they have taught 100 times. For us students, it’s brand new! The professors that take the time to answer questions and clarify material are admirable. Here at the U of I (especially the College of ACES) we have intelligent, dedicated professors. So as I hear students fill out their ICES forms, I am shocked to hear some of the complaints. I want to debunk some myths about your professors right now.

Myth 1: “They're so busy with other important things. They don’t care about teaching.”
Your professors are extremely busy, but they also care a whole lot about the generation of young adults in their field that are getting prepared to go into the workforce and make big changes in this world. They devoted their career to the study of this specific field and as a student your interest in this field is very important to them. This is their time to give you the correct information and help you make knowledgeable decisions in the future concerning this area of study. Send an email, go to office hours, or just talk after class if you feel like you need one-on-one time. They'll be happy to help!

Myth 2: "We never went over a problem like this in class. They want me to fail the exam."
They want you to use your brain and take the information they have given you to make an informed decision. I'm here to learn, and I actually want to learn. I don't want to regurgitate definitions.  I want to understand how things work and why the work and be able to apply that knowledge in my future job. Sure the “easy A” classes are nice, but I would much rather have a professor push me to work for my good grades then get spoon fed the answers. I already feel unprepared for adult life enough as it is; I need all the knowledge I can get!

Myth 3: "Attendance was required, and no make-up work was allowed. They must not care about my other responsibilities.”
High school prepares us for college and college prepares us for the real world, and a lot of the time you don’t get to make-up work in the real world. The difference between high school and college is that now you can decide whether or not to go to class. If you decide not to go, you’ll deal with the consequences. Sometimes you’re tired, sometimes your favorite movie is on (I’m guilty of this), and sometimes you just don’t want to go but you should! It’s all about balance and finding that balance can be tough, but you shouldn’t let your responsibilities get in the way of each other. Your professors want you to do well and to do well; you have to have all the information they’re giving you. That’s why attendance is required. They want to teach us about hydrogen bonds and p-values, but they also want to teach us how to be accountable, intelligent young adults.

Remember these things when you fill out your next ICES form and thank your professors before you leave. Good luck on finals and have a wonderful break!

Study time at ACES