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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

How to deal with a bad teacher

Unfortunately they do exist -- bad teachers that is.  They are a rare breed, although, as with any apple tree, there is an occasional bad apple.  So, that said, how do you deal with terribly bad teachers?

First of all, it must be noted here that most teachers are good or excellent.  If such teachers are perceived to be bad, it is mostly the result of poor study skills by the student and not the fault of the teacher.  That said, even the best teachers have bad moments.

But some teachers are simply bad.  Whether it is because they write poor questions, give bad lectures, have poor control of students, or are simply unfair, they are a problem that must be dealt with.

Unfortunately, once a teacher develops tenure it's nearly impossible to get rid of them.  So what is tenure?

According to the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), Tenure is defined as...
" arrangement whereby faculty members, after successful completion of a period of probationary service, can be dismissed only for adequate cause or other possible circumstances and only after a hearing before a faculty committee.
While surely professors love tenure, I personally believe it's an excuse to keep incompetent teachers.  Yet according to the AAUP, it's necessary to "protect academic freedom."

Tenure is usually granted to teachers after a certain amount of time in probation, which in many cases is about five years.

We all know what a good teacher is.  So are bad teachers?  They are teachers who fail to follow good teaching practice, or who fail to manage a classroom effectively.

When you get a truly bad teacher, what can you do?

I believe the appropriate steps to take in dealing with this type of problem is:
  1. Study your butt off and know the material upside down and backwards 
  2. Approach the teacher in an appropriate manner to discuss the situation. 
  3. If a problem continues, or you believe the teacher continues to be unreasonable, take it to the next level, which is usually the dean. 
  4. Drop the class (a last resort)
I certainly would hope you wouldn't resort to #3, although I know of many who have. If you do #1 and the teacher write such poor questions that you cannot possibly answer correctly, then it's time to resort to 2, 3, and (hopefully not) 4.

1 comment:

migraineur said...

I just taught myself all the material, worried about the board exams, not the letter grade, so long as it was passing, finished the program, and have told anybody who asked me where I went that I should have gambled on the wait list (#2 spot), rather than changing schools to the crappy one I switched to.

I figured the best revenge is one, being the best RRT I can, and two, keeping the program from surviving, which will get the bad teachers let go when the entire program is shut down due to its horrible reputation and lack of enrollment.