There is nothing worse than being stuck with a professor who just doesn’t cut it.
Whether your professor is boring beyond belief or reads directly from the slides on the projector, you have a crappy professor and you don’t know what to do about it.
Thankfully, there are ways to deal with this situation that don’t involve dropping the class or switching professors. Of course, if you can do either with no problems, go for it. But if neither of the aforementioned are possible, stick with my tips on how to deal when your professor isn’t cutting it.
Your Professor is BEYOND Boring.
This is the worst.
You try to go to class to learn the material for the exam (or you are really interested in the material) and you can’t even stay awake! His material is so dry it makes the Sahara desert look moist and her voice is so quiet it sounds like a lullaby singing you to sleep.
First of all, come prepared to class.
Bring coffee, your laptop, a snack, or gum; anything you need to keep you awake, pack it away before leaving for class and whip it out when you need it most (i.e. – your eyes are about to close).
Your Professor is a BAD Teacher.
What do you do when the person who is supposed to be teaching you important material either doesn’t know how to teach, or doesn’t understand the material?
You have to take it upon yourself to learn the material.
No, it’s not fair that you should have to teach everything to yourself, but life isn’t fair and your professor sucks, so crack open your books and get to it!
Make Study Guides
Take it upon yourself to read through the chapters and outline each as necessary. Make flashcards, study aids, whatever you need to help you to remember all of the important notes, create it!
Join a Study Group
Ask people in your class if they would like to create a study group. Get together once a week, after class, or right before exams and you will find yourself learning from your peers and they will be learning from you.
You can all share notes and resources and discuss what exactly your professor tried to teach you throughout the week.
Swing By the Tutoring Center
Hit up your tutoring center for help from qualified professionals or other students. They have either taken the class before or are in classes more advanced than yours and should be able to help you to understand the material.
This is a great resource for large classrooms where your professor is using a microphone to be heard. Sometimes the microphone can be difficult to understand, can cut out, or is too quiet for you to hear. See if your classmates are in the tutoring center and ask to borrow their notes for things you may have missed.
Your Professor is Foreign and You Can’t Understand Him/Her.
This can be difficult because you can’t understand what your teacher is talking about. While sitting in the front of the class or asking a lot of questions for clarification may help, sometimes it just doesn’t cut it.
Talk to Your TA
Your TA may be able to help you much more than your professor. He/she knows what the professor is teaching and you may be able to actually understand your TA, especially if he/she is a native.
Your TA may also have a different teaching technique which could also help you to learn more easily. Explain the situation to him/her and see if your TA would be willing to work with you one-on-one so you can actually get something out of going to class.
Sit in on Another Class
Check out the other classes being taught by different professors. While this won’t cover EVERYTHING (as no two professors teach the exact same material), you may be able to learn things that you just can’t understand in your own class.
Scope out the extra seats in the same class that a different professor is teaching. If there are a bunch of extra seats (and I can almost guarantee that there will be), sit in the back, don’t ask questions, and no one will notice that you don’t belong!
Talk to the other students in the class and see if any of them can answer questions you may have or would be willing to swap notes to compare what you learned in one class compared to the class you skipped.