A few days ago my Facebook news feed was overflowing with posts from frustrated peers. At first this sounds like just another typical day. As students, we whine about how boring or stupid a class is. We complain about assignments and exams. However, one post caught my attention.
The complaint I read was that a professor has missed too much class. I have heard a lot about problems with student attendance, but I thought instructors were generally thought to be more reliable.
As I read through the comments, a fuller picture came into view. Apparently, students in this particular class are graded on attendance, and many were becoming frustrated by their teacher’s obvious hypocrisy. I don’t know all the facts. In this case, there may be extenuating circumstances that the students are not aware of, but it brings up an important point. A professor’s attitude toward class affects their students’ attitudes.
Like the professor mentioned above, instructors who are repeatedly gone, seemingly without reason, communicate to students that class is not important. It is only natural that students begin to question attendance policies or skip class.
Another complaint I’ve heard recently is that some teachers do not seem to be prepared for class. I’ve heard students say that they could teach a class better and that their instructor isn’t really qualified to teach a certain subject. Of course, these statements cannot be taken as God’s honest truth. But they bring up a good point. I’ve been in classes where the instructor seems to come in and wing it. I’m not impressed. If the class isn’t important enough for the teacher to prepare for, I see no reason why it’s important enough for me to do the homework.
On the other hand, when an instructor is always present in the classroom and uses class time effectively, students are less likely to skip or become frustrated. I get stressed by assignments and exams just as much as the next guy, but at least something is being accomplished. The worst class is one that wastes my time, thereby wasting my money.
Bottom line, if the instructor is slacking, you can bet the students will be too. If the class isn’t important to the one teaching it, it isn’t going to be important to anyone else either.
All I ask is that my instructors abide by the same standards they expect me to follow. Show up. Come prepared.
Erin Morris is a freshman majoring in communication. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.