I apologize for the lack of communication on my part. I’ve been busy with final projects for my two Master’s Degree in International Administration graduate school classes. I’m taking these classes at the University of Miami (seen above). These two classes have taught me 3 things about great professors that I need to share with you.
You see, I have one great professor and one bad professor. As I was thinking about why I enjoyed one class, and disliked the other, I realized that it had to do with these 3 things. There’s just something about great professors that can make any class enjoyable and useful.
1. They share their knowledge and experiences
In class A, my professor shared his experiences, knowledge, expertise, and opinions. It was awesome to sit under someone who’s been in business for over 20 years and now is deciding to teach. I learned a great deal from his jokes, mistakes, and successes. He didn’t just teach us a subject, he shared his life with us.
In class B, not so much. This professor didn’t teach, share, or do much of anything else. She organized the class in a way that students would do presentations every day. Which meant that she didn’t do a thing but listen. She shared none of her professional experiences with us, none of her academic knowledge, and offered no critique of anything that was presented. She was merely a chaperone.
2. They facilitate participation
In class A, our professor made participation a part of the grade. Don’t get me wrong, this can be annoying, but it did force me to study more, interact, and respond to comments. I believe this greatly accelerated my learning.
In class B, class participation was discouraged. Not discouraged outright, but class dynamics took over and that’s how it played out. The presentations took so long that students realized that asking questions only lengthened the already long presentations. People stopped asking anything. People zoned out for hours. I can’t emphasize enough how bad of a fail the professor let this be. Students presented, in intricate detail, economics presentations for well over an hour.
In class A, the professor had a syllabus, and stuck to it. We had case studies, questions, discussion questions, and a group project. We knew all of this ahead of time. We knew which days we had class and which days we didn’t. We knew which days we had projects and case studies due. There were no surprises.
In class B, the professor gave us a two year old syllabus. She randomly changed presentation schedules, randomly cancelled class days, and randomly changed due dates for assignments. She gave no expectations for assignments. She kept accepting people in the class so we had to change rooms one month into the semester. She never returned emails and frequently had no answer for questions. To make matters worse, her teacher’s assistant took on a similar role. Big time fail.
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