Thursday, February 27, 2014

What To Do When You're Stuck With a Bad Professor

So far most of my professors have been great, but it was bound to happen. You run into that one professor that's arrogant, condescending, and goes way off topic when answering a question.

This semester, I finally ran into my worst professor ever. I won't waste time describing why he's horrible. You guys know me, I'm focused on "what can I do to get through this?

I am the only thing I can control. I can't allow his inadequacies as a teacher to translate into a poor grade on my transcript. When reviewing my transcript, my inadequacies are scrutinized, so that's what I'm focused on. Lucky for me, the Internet is real. So, here's what I've been doing.

Khan Academy is a free service that offers a tons of information, video tutorials, and so much more.

YouTube is one of my favorite sites. Search of specific topics such as "electron orbital configuration" and there are wonderful tutorials explaining exactly that. Notice how I was very specific with my search. You can't just search for "chemistry help".

Google is your friend, your professor, and your tutor. Search for practice quizzes. Last year for Biology Lab class, I found images for different types of tissues, muscle, and skeletal cells. You might be surprise as some of the detailed images out there.

Speak To Someone. I find it far more effective if a group of student get together and raise their concerns. I haven't found this to be terribly effective for immediate results, but as more students voice their concerns, hopefully someone will look into the matter.

Tutoring Services are a great resource at school. Unfortunately, I've never been able to take advantage of it since I work during the day. Your schedule might be different. Stop by your school's tutoring service to see what's available.

Dropping the class. Sometimes is simply boils down to taking the class with another professor. Unfortunately, I have no time or money to waste by dropping classes, so this isn't an option for me. Your situation might be different. You have to do what works best for you.

Arrogant and condescending people are a part of every field.

My goal is to get my work done in spite of them and to make sure I don't become one of them along the way.


  1. Hi CandidAnn,
    Yes I remember that feeling; I think you're on the right path. Here is a biology professor online:

    That said, there are professionals who either have an agenda or they just aren't good teachers. And they seem hell bent on making some students suffer. It is truly disgusting; I expect more for my money when I'm being educated. Maybe after you get the degree it would be good to sit down with a upper level administrator and let them know about him because I'm sure others have complained and maybe they will sanction him in some way.

    Whatever you do, don't doubt your intellect; I made that mistake once with one of these type of professors and it had a negative affect on me with some skills I cherish. Whenever I attempt to do certain things I get flustered easily and I can trace it back to this one professor who ripped my stuff apart.

    Wishing you the best.

  2. Thanks for the information Sandy. The class that I'm referring to is Chemistry but it's funny you would mention that Biology site because I follow the owner of that site, Leslie Samuels, on his podcast. I was listening to his latest episode just this morning! What a coincidence.

    You are so right about the "doubting intellect" part. It's easy to assume that knowledgeable professors are also intelligent people, unfortunately that is not always the case.

  3. Best to listen to while studying: Miles Davis - Kind Of Blue

    I'm back in school myself and your focus and dedication is inspiring. Good Luck with everything. Oh, and I would love to see videos talking about money and school experiences.




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