So, you’ve entered college and you constantly have to catch yourself from calling your betters “teachers” rather than “professors.” I still catch myself. Or I talk about my “grade” rather than my “class.” It’s definitely an adjustment. Everything about the transition from high school to college seems like a step up or a new and more challenging life.
It seems like the second you step foot on campus as an undergrad, you are no longer a naive teenager. You are intelligent, thoughtful and can form your own, valid opinions. It can be pretty empowering when you are treated like an adult. More than that, you are treated as an intelligent one. Or, at least, that’s how it’s SUPPOSED to be.
Yet, something I constantly come across with my own professors is being treated as “lesser than.” Just the fact that we sometimes refer to professors as our “betters” instills this idea that college students are not on the same level intellectually.
Now, you’re probably thinking that I’m crazy. These people are super smart, have plenty of degrees and life experience, and have specialized in a certain field. That is totally valid and beyond validity it’s extremely impressive how accomplished professors are.
But, the problem I have with how some professors direct a class is the way they sometimes abuse that power.
Just the other day this problem came up with one of my professors. It felt like they were picking apart my response just for the sake of picking it apart. The professors I respect the most are the ones who try to facilitate conversation rather than dictate it. Granted, I take many humanities classes so the experiences I’ve had tend to be in discussion-based classes. But I think this gets at a problem many people have with how we have discussions now.
Everyone is so concerned with getting their own opinion in and also making sure that their opinion is superior that we hardly just listen anymore. In classes, I’ve had professors who will tear apart responses that were valid in the first place only to accomplish making the professor seem superior and everyone else feel inferior.
I feel like college should be a place where you build your confidence and some
professors do an amazing job at that. The professors that stick out to me the most are the ones who talked to us as if we were their equals with intelligent thoughts. College should foster discussion and through that build confidence in students to express their own opinions. I mean, we enter the real world and then what? Let everyone else stomp all over us because we aren’t “at their level”?
I guess my point in all of this is to
1) have confidence in your opinions. They matter.
And 2) always focus on listening. It’s way more important than being “right.”
Ignore this ENTIRE post if you’re majoring in accounting.