Friend Fatima: Professor vendetta

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Q: My professor has been getting on my nerves this whole semester, but more recently they have been more hostile towards me. I feel like I’m not getting what I deserve in my class and it’s hard to do the pointless assignments that are being assigned. It’s a struggle to even attend that class but I do because I know they will notice if I’m gone and drop my grade even more. How should I handle all this? 

A: It’s difficult to go to any class this point in the semester so I understand your frustration. As far as the other stuff goes, no student should feel like their professor is being hostile toward them. You should feel comfortable with your professor and know they will help you whenever you need it. If you can’t even feel welcomed enough to talk to them, it’s not an appropriate learning environment.  

April is the busiest month of the whole year so it can get kind of crazy. Taking that into account, maybe you should give your teacher the benefit of the doubt. I know it is extremely hard as a student to fully understand what they are going through. They are as stressed as we are with everything going on in our lives. They have to plan lessons and prepare for finals that are going to be right around the corner. I know that is not really an excuse for them to be an unfavorable professor but you will not enjoy every professor’s teaching style. 

As students, we have to be understanding toward our professors. I’m not saying ignore the problem, but maybe they are unaware there is a problem. Try setting up a time to meet with your professor and talk to them about how you’re feeling. And if you don’t feel comfortable doing that, try finding other faculty in that department to talk to. In my experience, I’ve found the faculty in my department to be very helpful and understanding. 

The faculty at Washburn is here to help you succeed and if you don’t feel like a class is doing that, then go talk to any of them. They will help you because they are passionate about their students even if they don’t always show it all the time. And if it is your major department and you don’t feel comfortable you should probably think about switching your major. You’re not going to succeed if you aren’t comfortable with your advisers.  

If your grade is really suffering because you think your professor is hostile toward you I would seriously analyze that judgment before you do anything about it. I have not run into a professor at Washburn who gives you a grade based on who you are. Look at what was asked for the assignment and see if you really met all the requirements because if you honestly think you did and still received a poor grade then yes, I would address that issue. 

I do not recommend you waiting the semester out. Go talk to someone about your issues and see if it is all just a misunderstanding. No one should dread a class so much they never want to attend. The faculty here is amazing and they will help you succeed if you let them.