• Support PF! Buy your school textbooks, materials and every day products Here!

Advise on issues with professor

  • Thread starter rdfloyd
  • Start date
  • #26
29
0
I was under the impression that we're talking about a school where teaching is paramount, and research is not what the professors are paid for.
This professor is a lecturer, and does not do any research as far as I know.
 
  • #27
798
1
To ME it seems as though you are over-exaggerating..... You have an A in this class. Obviously this professor isn't having as detrimental of an effect on you as you convey... Also, first world problems, hey? Wah wah if I get a B
 
  • #28
29
0
To ME it seems as though you are over-exaggerating..... You have an A in this class. Obviously this professor isn't having as detrimental of an effect on you as you convey... Also, first world problems, hey? Wah wah if I get a B
Over-exaggerating about learning the foundational material that I need for my job?

Also, I've worked hard for my 4.0. I don't want to give it up now.

EDIT: P.S. I like that name. I'm going to guess it has something to do with Intel. =D
 
  • #29
22,097
3,282
Was it rude to challenge him in front of the class? Yes, but we were already on the subject, and he was already giving his reasons for it. I may have come off as rude, but that was not my intention. I've already got an apology written up, and I plan to skip work or class (I don't know if he is going to cancel office hours yet) to formally apologize for insulting him.
Very good. Being able to apologize is what makes a person great!!

I might have acted in this thread like I didn't support your plan, this was not the idea at all. I think it's a very good thing that you took matters in your own hand and talked with your advisor and the department chair!! I just wanted to put some perspective on the matter. That is: I wanted to make clear that your lecturer isn't "evil" or anything. Fine, he should lecture better, but he's likely to be overloaded with work as well!! That said, I feel that it's the university that has to do something about it...

Well done!
 
  • #30
798
1
Over-exaggerating about learning the foundational material that I need for my job?

Also, I've worked hard for my 4.0. I don't want to give it up now.

EDIT: P.S. I like that name. I'm going to guess it has something to do with Intel. =D
Well, hopefully you can pull it off despite your professor. Whenever I get a professor that does not live up to my personal expectations, I tend to leave them a nasty review come that time. One of our professors from last year got fired due to the collective negative reviews that she attained.

Additionally, where did you get this intel? hehe ;)
 
  • #31
29
0
Very good. Being able to apologize is what makes a person great!!

I might have acted in this thread like I didn't support your plan, this was not the idea at all. I think it's a very good thing that you took matters in your own hand and talked with your advisor and the department chair!! I just wanted to put some perspective on the matter. That is: I wanted to make clear that your lecturer isn't "evil" or anything. Fine, he should lecture better, but he's likely to be overloaded with work as well!! That said, I feel that it's the university that has to do something about it...

Well done!
I don't think that my professor is evil. He's a really really nice guy in person. It's just that the lecturing standards are not up to par from what I am used to. And yes, he is overloaded, and I have come up with a solution that might help the entire department. I plan to talk with the chair again to state the plan (it's modeled after how the Physics side of the department handles the amount of load in our Introductory courses).

Instead of grouping classes into small 10-15 person classes, it would make more sense to make one BIG class (30-40 students) then have loads of office hours for people to come in and get one on one time with professors. That way, the professor wouldn't have to worry about 4 different sections of one class, and the large amount of office hours would make him available when other people's schedules would work.

This is how we do it in Physics. We have large classes of 40-45 people, where each professor teaches one section at different times. Then, when people have questions about the material, every professor is in his office when he is not teaching and can help. Plus, we have Physics tutors that roam around for most of the day helping people with their homework. Our system works great for people who need the one on one time or want to learn the material.

I don't want to be the guy who points out an issue without a solution. I've pointed out the problem, now it's time to reveal my solution. Going to poll all of my physics professors tomorrow on whether they would like to teach a bunch of smaller classes or one large class. By the end of the semester, I want to have a detailed plan for the chair to be able to use if he wants. That way I stay in the good graces of the Chemistry department. =)
 
  • #32
29
0
Well, hopefully you can pull it off despite your professor. Whenever I get a professor that does not live up to my personal expectations, I tend to leave them a nasty review come that time. One of our professors from last year got fired due to the collective negative reviews that she attained.
I don't want him fired. But at the same time, he shouldn't be teaching on a sub-par level. That's what my situation is.

Additionally, where did you get this intel? hehe ;)
I LOVE my 2500k. Folds like a champ at 4.5GHz. Going to shoot for 5GHz when I get a XSPC Rasa kit.
 
  • #33
349
1
This is every chemistry professor that I have ever had. I am taking Organic 1 next semester with the same crummy professor I took General 2 with last semester, and I maintained a 4.0 by learning the material myself with resources like khanacademy (and borek on physicsforums!).
Every chemistry prof? This is like every college math/science/engineering class ever. . .
 
  • #34
mege
One attitude that I find disturbing is the: "I've paid for this education so I deserve..." comments. While this may be true at a most basic, simplified level - it should be pointed out that the success of the student is still ultimately the student's responsibility. Bad stuff happens and the reaction to it can be as much of a test of character as success in the class. I think having the simplified/entitled attitude steers the problem towards a(n) (potentially percieved) externality.

Instead, I think the comment should be more along the lines of: "I've paid for this education for the opportunity to..." (succeed/learn/research/...). With this line of thinking the student internalizes their struggle and has noone to blame but themself. Now, this doesn't mean that everything is the student's fault - but ultimately how they handle the situation is. Also, opportunity doesn't mean that every student is given the exact same chances... some have an easier time at University than others.
 
  • #35
1,291
0
What's sad is that I am paying to teach myself.
Welcome to college. The system is made in a way that this isn't uncommon.

Sigh..

This seems to be a VERY common reply whenever someone mentions a problem with a teacher. Sometimes a reply might this might even be justified, but I don't see why someone should just have to accept that he/she is having to deal with a teacher who can't teach.

There ARE some really bad teachers out there. One problem in academia is of course that there are many (in some places most) researchers who do not like to teach and only do it because they have to, this means that the likelihood of coming across someone who is actually incompetent is quite high.
I had a lecturer once (end of the 1st year when I was an undergrad) who was a very good mathematician (full professor with a very good group), but he had some rather unorthodox ideas about how to plan and run a course. In the end something like 75% of us failed the exam, and the professor who was responsible for the following course had to add extra lectures to HER course in order to cover material that we were suppose to have learnt in the previous course.
In the end this lecturer was banned from teaching for a few years (he refused to accept that he was doing something wrong) and is (as far as I know) still not allowed to teach advanced math.
In retrospect I wish we had complained earlier, that course nearly made me transfer to another program (several students did).
This is an extreme example, but it illustrates my point: there is nothing wrong with complaining as long as there is a genuine problem, and it is done constructively. Sometimes it does lead to improvements.
Because college is the start of independence, this includes teaching yourself. The professor is there to guide you, not to spoon feed you material. It isn't high school.

But I do agree that in some extreme cases something should be done. Whether it is in OP's case or not isn't my decision because I'm not in class. In my college many fail my professor's calculus and physics test. But that is because most are lazy and he doesn't take it easy. I like his tests, they toughen me and prepare me for the harder classes. I get the feeling that op's class is the same thing where a lot of people take the class but don't necessarily put in enough time because it isn't their major.

Was this really necessary? The OP is looking for advice, not a text lashing. Lighten up, geez.
Yeah, I guess I might have sounded a little harsh. But that wasn't my intention. OP, I apologizes if it bothered you.


One attitude that I find disturbing is the: "I've paid for this education so I deserve..." comments. While this may be true at a most basic, simplified level - it should be pointed out that the success of the student is still ultimately the student's responsibility. Bad stuff happens and the reaction to it can be as much of a test of character as success in the class. I think having the simplified/entitled attitude steers the problem towards a(n) (potentially percieved) externality.

Instead, I think the comment should be more along the lines of: "I've paid for this education for the opportunity to..." (succeed/learn/research/...). With this line of thinking the student internalizes their struggle and has noone to blame but themself. Now, this doesn't mean that everything is the student's fault - but ultimately how they handle the situation is. Also, opportunity doesn't mean that every student is given the exact same chances... some have an easier time at University than others.
Stated my point better than I did. :approve:
 
Last edited:
  • #36
29
0
One attitude that I find disturbing is the: "I've paid for this education so I deserve..." comments. While this may be true at a most basic, simplified level - it should be pointed out that the success of the student is still ultimately the student's responsibility. Bad stuff happens and the reaction to it can be as much of a test of character as success in the class. I think having the simplified/entitled attitude steers the problem towards a(n) (potentially percieved) externality.

Instead, I think the comment should be more along the lines of: "I've paid for this education for the opportunity to..." (succeed/learn/research/...). With this line of thinking the student internalizes their struggle and has noone to blame but themself. Now, this doesn't mean that everything is the student's fault - but ultimately how they handle the situation is. Also, opportunity doesn't mean that every student is given the exact same chances... some have an easier time at University than others.
Sorry if I'm replying to much. I get push updates to my phone on posts, and trying to quote everyone at once is a challenge.

I agree that the student has the majority of the responsibility, but when a student exhausts all available options to learn, and still cannot understand the material being not (not my lack of understanding, but by lack of being taught the concepts) then there is something else wrong.

I like to think of it like this: "I've paid someone else for access to their mind of knowledge. But if the person cannot articulate the knowledge, or won't set aside time for me to learn it myself, then I've paid for a service I am not receiving."

What's the point of college if everyone can learn the concepts by themselves?
 
  • #37
29
0
Welcome to college. The system is made in a way that this isn't uncommon.
Then it is a broken system that needs repair. That's where students like myself try to come in and fix the problem.

Because college is the start of independence, this includes teaching yourself. The professor is there to guide you, not to spoon feed you material. It isn't high school.
I taught myself through high school (taking 5 years to do it). I know how to teach myself and I understand the value of education. I'm paying someone else to teach myself chemistry. I don't want this spoonfed to me. What I do want is for the concepts of what I am doing to be clearly presented, then allowed for me to pick apart and choose what I can do with them.

Yeah, I guess I might have sounded a little harsh. But that wasn't my intention. OP, I apologizes if it bothered you.
It takes a lot more than that to get my feathers ruffled. I appreciate your reply though. It helps to have different viewpoints on a touchy subject like this. =)
 
  • #38
1,291
0
As I read down the page, I was waiting for the first "professors are holy and don't have to do anything, you ungrateful n'wah" post.
Then it is a broken system that needs repair. That's where students like myself try to come in and fix the problem.

I taught myself through high school (taking 5 years to do it). I know how to teach myself and I understand the value of education. I'm paying someone else to teach myself chemistry. I don't want this spoonfed to me. What I do want is for the concepts of what I am doing to be clearly presented, then allowed for me to pick apart and choose what I can do with them.

It takes a lot more than that to get my feathers ruffled. I appreciate your reply though. It helps to have different viewpoints on a touchy subject like this. =)
It is a broken system, the reason is that universities, like any other business, is based off money. Therefore universities try to increase their revenue as much as possible. Unfortunately over the years this has meant less quality lectures as a consequence.

I only meant to toughen you up in the sense that there is much more of that to come in college. Its not a perfect system because professors often have a lot of stress to research. Furthermore, the more complex a class gets, the more individual learning is expected. Other than that, if your professor has absurdly hard tests then by all means take it to authority. You seem to have the work ethics so I support you in this.
 
  • #39
29
0
It is a broken system, the reason is that universities, like any other business, is based off money. Therefore universities try to increase their revenue as much as possible. Unfortunately over the years this has meant less quality lectures as a consequence.
Which is why I am expressing my concern. If I don't, then I lose the ability to fight later if I don't get an "A" in the class, or if I don't have the foundation required by my later courses. If this was a standard business, there would be a lawsuit for services not fulfilled.

I only meant to toughen you up in the sense that there is much more of that to come in college. Its not a perfect system because professors often have a lot of stress to research. Furthermore, the more complex a class gets, the more individual learning is expected. Other than that, if your professor has absurdly hard tests then by all means take it to authority. You seem to have the work ethics so I support you in this.
I know that courses get tougher, and that individual expectations rise. But at the same time, the professor has to make sure that if he teaches a class, he is able to deliver the absolute best.

I sit in on Dynamics, E&M, and Quantum lectures when I can. I love learning that type of stuff, and it helps prepare me for what's coming up. I know that it's going to be rough, but I also know that the professors that will be teaching me teach because they love to teach. I don't have to be worried about getting a crappy professor in our Physics department because they all rock.
 

Related Threads on Advise on issues with professor

  • Last Post
Replies
12
Views
3K
Replies
7
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
927
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
616
Replies
2
Views
1K
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
15
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
Top