People & Inspiration

Daily Diaries: Types of Toxic Professors and How to Deal with Them

Daily Diaries: Types of Toxic Professors and How to Deal with Them


By Maan de Vera

College is an amazing experience... depending on who you ask. A huge factor that affects our college life is what your professors are like. They dictate the pace of your classes, your feelings in between them, and whether or not you’ll get sleep upon arriving home.

Teaching is a noble profession, and there are those whose lessons we would keep in our hearts for the rest of our lives. For others, however, we just can't wait for the next semester or even our graduation.

As much as we don’t want to admit it, there are toxic professors and it will definitely be a pain to attend and pass their classes. On the flipside, take it from someone who just recently graduated: there is a way to deal with them. Here’s how to deal with each one of them:

1. The one who doesn’t show up to classes

While most students will love a professor who doesn’t show up because that would lead to longer break times, this will definitely take a big toll once it’s time for the exams. Also, would you rather have free time instead of actually learning things that you might need for your job someday?

What to do: Reach out. Communicate this concern to your campus. Maybe there’s a valid reason. If so, it’s only right to ask for a substitute professor. It there isn’t, then it’s in the administration’s place to take the necessary action.

2. The one who isn't a master of what they’re teaching

There are a lot of really intelligent professors out there, but sometimes they're asked to teach subjects that aren’t their forte. For example, someone who is an expert in biology doesn’t possess the same credentials as someone who specializes in physics. While this may seem obvious, a lot of schools out there have been doing this.

What to do: When there’s really no one better to handle the class, take it upon yourself to fact check. Don’t just accept everything especially when something doesn’t add up and bring this to their attention. Anyone who is a professional should acknowledge this and correct their mistakes. This leads us to our next point.

3. The one who insists that they're always right

This one is unfortunately a common one. We completely understand that professors are authorities inside the classroom, but this shouldn’t mean that nothing they do is wrong. Be it in the facts of the lectures or class policies, everyone should be able to grasp the fact that we cannot have all the right answers at all times.

What to do: Speak up. Don’t be afraid to tell your professors what your concerns are, but do it respectfully. Stick to the facts and don’t let your feelings get the best of you. In the event that this all fall on deaf ears, know that you can always bring matters to the administration if it really means that much to you.

4. The one who blurs the line between personal and academic life

Professors can be amazing friends. They sometimes turn into our second parents. However, it can get tricky as they are also only humans and this closeness can extend even inside the classroom. There are also those who would rather talk about their personal lives instead of focusing on their lecture as well.

What to do: Draw the line. If they’re really your friends, they should be able to see that whatever personal relationship you have should not affect your student-professor dynamic. They’re can be your educator while in class and your BFF in between.

5. The one who induces terror

For some reason, there is always that one professor every semester who would find a way to make everything extra difficult. Be it attending your class on time, your homework, your exams, your projects, or even just sitting in class, this type will make sure that anything that falls less than what they expect will have grave consequences including humiliating you in front of the whole class.

What to do: Adhere to their rules as much as you can. Come to think of it, you may not understand it now, but maybe they have a weird yet fitting reason as to why they impose such measures in their class. However, just like anything else, once you feel like these rules get in the way of your learning (or your sanity,) gather your courage and speak out.

When professors are giving you a hard time, just keep in mind that they are there to teach you a lesson for better or worse. Take it all in, but also know how to set boundaries. After all, your education and your future are at stake here.

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