What To Do On The First Week Of Classes

What To Do On The First Week Of Classes

It’s often that when you come into college you get really excited to take a course and you’re ready to, let’s say learn HTML/CSS and then half way through the semester you realize that you’re not learning at all! You’re just sitting on your computer and your professor has you going through rudimentary Code Academy tutorials and flipping through W3schools. In this post I’m going to give you some quick tips on how to spot a bad professor within the first day and some tips that you can do to succeed in a course if you’re stuck in it.

Alright so it’s day one and you’re sitting in Professor Elliot Alderson’s course and you want to get a glimpse of your future in the class.

Here’s a few warning signs of a bad professor:

  1. Atitude
  2. Presentation
  3. Clarity
  4. Involvement
  5. Syllabus

First is a professors attitude. If Professor Alderson comes in and he’s already complaining about how he hates teaching Scripting101 then that’s obviously bad sign. Pay attention to how the Professor speaks, the tone of his voice, and if his mood comes off as appealing to you or not. Does he assign rubbish class rules?

Second is presentation. Just like Professor Alderson’s attitude you want to see how he presents himself. Does he come off as boring? Does his voice make you fall asleep? Is he already lecturing you on the first day? Depending on what you prefer (lecture style or not), you can usually tell within the first couple days of class if the professor is engaging to you. You want to make sure you get the most out of your professor because in turn you’ll learn more and get the most out of the course. After all, you’re paying the equivalent of a dragon egg for your education; so get the most bang for your buck.

Third is Clarity. Does the Professor confuse you? Is he unclear about the requirements for the course and his expectations of you? Does the professor himself feel unsure about the material?

I remember back when I was in high school I had one professor we’ll call him Professor X, even though he doesn’t stand up to the name at all. It was AP Chemistry class and Professor X had never taught AP Chem. The first thing I hear come out of his mouth is this: “I’ve never taught Chemistry but I took a summer class for a week and I just got certified to teach it, here’s my binder, hahaha” So not only does Professor X diminish his credibility as a professor but he also basically say’s I only know what’s in this binder.

If it were up to me, I would’ve switched out of the class asap. Nonetheless I did well in the course because I played my card correctly using as much as I was given and planning everything out for the future. I did this knowing that if I didn’t I probably wouldn’t have succeeded. So even if you don’t think you’re going to do well in a class remember there’s always hope. Use your prediction of failure and turn it into a game plan for success.

Fourth is involvement. Does the professor actively engage his audience. Do you sit in class bored with seemingly nothing to do (other than “take notes” of course). Does the professor speak in the same monotone voice, droning off a power point that looks basically like your notes? Let’s be honest here, if your professor gives you a power point and that’s it, you’re not gonna learn anything. You want a teacher who engages the class and get’s you involved in your learning, it’s the best way to learn (by doing).

Lastly is the syllabus. Of course the syllabus. You may think the syllabus for a course is just an excuse to not have to do work because you’re “going over the syllabus”. A Syllabus has a solid outline of the semester, telling you when quizzes/tests are and the topics to be learned. And you may have policies and rules you must abide by, sure they can be annoying (I mean sometimes the grading scale isn’t always the best) However, believe it or not the syllabus can be the one thing that helps you get an A when the professors aren’t the best. You just got to use the information to prep for the future.

If the professor appeals to you and you get along; try to get to know the professor. The syllabus has valuable contact info about a professor. Ask them which form of contact is their preference. Getting on a professors good side is always a nice thing to do, they’re people too (a lot of them are actually really cool). In addition, they can be used as references for future applications (internship, job, etc.)

Hope some of the info helps!!

Good Luck This Semester!

comments powered by Disqus