Bad Teachers

I’ve been in school almost all of my life and I’ve scarcely had a break. Especially in recent times where if I’m not in school, I’m working. I can’t escape from life without there being some reprecussions.

One thing I’ve come to hate is bad teachers.

The most valuable thing one owns is their education, for it can get you anywhere you want to be if you can think of a way to do it.

Tonight I had a HUGE Information Technology test. This is an introductory course and it’s super difficult. The teacher just stands in front of the class and reads from power point slides as she just interjects with her own personal stories. She’s an awful, awful teacher and I’m not the only one who thinks so. I checked her on ratemyprofessor.com , and as expected, almost everyone thinks she can’t teach.

There is a big difference between teaching and lecturing. Just as there is a big difference between a speaker and a professor. I’m in college to have a learned individual explain to me the intricacies of a certain topic in a manner that I can not only understand, but am also able to utilize and fully explain said topic. Instead, there are “teachers” who just lecture on material and don’t do much teaching. They just regurgitate stuff out of the book (or in this case power point slides) and don’t explain the material they expect you to know well enough.

In this case, it’s all about databases and e-commerce, every question on that test was taken almost directly from the book and was based off of memorized definitions rather than their applications. I absolutely hate outright memorization. It doesn’t matter if I can spit out a perfect definition or fill in the blank if I don’t understand the concept or I can’t apply it.

Perhaps that’s why I actually enjoy Java (the class is called Introduction to Problem Solving and Programming Concepts II), because I not only am taught new techniques, I can apply, utilize, and modify them to show a mastering of the knowledge.

In all fairness, I don’t pay much attention, the boringness of the class is 10+/10 and her ability to show relevance of the topics at hand is in the negative range. Depending on what grade I make on this test, it means that I wouldn’t have to show up a single day for class, and I could just read her power points and make grade X. The amount of information covered on the test is overwhelming, it’s four chapters of information and her study guide is just an outline of the chapter names. No particular topics and instead of things to focus on, it just says “all definitions”. That’s really the mark of a bad teacher, THEY don’t even know what they want you to know, just know it all, just in case.

It’s an unrealistic expectation and it causes frustration and loss of student respect. Easy teachers are fantastic, but only when they are on lame subjects, like British literature or Western civ, crap no one cares about. When it comes down to massive new information, the professor needs to simplify, explain, and show relevance, not just copy and paste the book into a power point slide and go over it word for word.

A non-teching-talent related complaint, she dresses straight out of the nineties. The make-up style, the awful huge curly hair, the “mommy jeans”, the sweaters with the balls of fabric on them, just awful. It has some weird psychological effect … I won’t say that, because she actually continually brings up her age (she’s like forty something) and how she used to use DOS and blah blah blah, back before blah blah was around. It really makes me think that she is outdated in her knowledge, not to mention the 90’s had the worst fashion of any decade yet. If she were to come in 80’s themed I would be much happier, but 90’s are just vomitous.

I base a teacher’s ability on whether or not I can explain the material with ease to my peers (and be correct) and if when test time comes, I didn’t really have to study because the material was related and relevance was shown. I guess sometimes that isn’t the case with particular subjects, but it really should be with all. Even my Art history class isn’t boring because she tells us interesting stories about how things came about or the signifcance of something instead of just boring us with actual history.

“Well, this Riace Bronze was found somewhere at a time and a place and back in that time, statues were made out of bronze…” <- Lame.

“Well, this Riace Bronze was found off the coast of some uncharted island, proving the theory about this culture and how they used lost wax to make their statues. It exhibits classical features that we still use today in our sculpture.” <- Better.

That’s why I loved my World History teacher Mr. Carriere (pronounced career), instead of just reading text book garblemesh, he would tell us fun stories about that time period or how something happened. He would also give us great study guides and tested predictably so his students succeeded. Still one of my all time favorite teachers. PLUS he has credibility, when I took American Government, he’s a councilman, he really knows how things work and could draw on personal and on-going experience to teach us.

I don’t know if I rambled or wandered too much this time, but I hope I got my point across about the difference. You probably have your own ideas of what a good teacher is, I think application and ability are more important than just book knowledge. Maybe that’s just me?

Cheers,

Michael

2 Responses to Bad Teachers

  1. scottiec809 says:

    I think that all of my teachers are like that. I sit here trying to think of that wasn’t a “lecture” teacher, and I can’t. My Economics 201 teacher was pretty good I guess.
    But thats pretty much it. Every other teacher I had sucked.

  2. mbatow says:

    Bad teachers are unavoidable in college. I think most deans look at accomplishments to determine whether or not a person should be hired for a position, not ability to teach. Although, teaching ability would be hard to gauge anyway. A teacher that gave analogies and real world examples of ideas is ideal. But sadly, most of the time all we get is teachers that focus on memorization. You may learn the definitions to a few words, but in the end, you do not truly understand the idea.

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