Tired of Professor Playing Favorites

  1. Hi Nurse Beth,

    I am pleased to be a part of the site. I am a new student nurse currently in training for my Associate's degree in Nursing Science. I have found that the students who sit in the first rows in class seem to be preferred and may/may not be receiving extra tips with the tests and are giving priority when doing community service activities.

    How can I fight for just as much help and preference without looking like I am jealous of them or somehow singling myself out? I have even found some of those students on the professor's social network site. I cannot complain because I will be singled out or not receive time with her when all of the those other students are rushing up to her desk to receive rationales about answers that they missed on tests for example? They have even sent motivational texts to these students and nice messages as a response to the tests that they aced as opposed to me squeaking by with a C.

    Before this, I have always been an A student and now, I am getting Cs because I am always lost and cannot even hear her that well from my seat. I didn't even get to pick my seat, but apparently, they all grabbed the chairs. This has turned into a competition, and I do not feel it should be regarded in such an unprofessional manner. Everyone should encourage and be able to receive the tips. I don't know what to do, but I am always so irritated in class that I have trouble paying attention and I feel ignored so I feel as if the college only wanted my money and doesn't care about the students who really do need extra help...

    Can you please help me sort this out Nurse Beth? Thank you!

    Dear Playing Favorites,

    You are right, it does need to be sorted out to turn things around for you, and quickly. This is consuming you to the point that it’s affecting your studies.

    Caution-Do not go above the instructor’s head to complain. This rarely works well for the student.
    It's not (shouldn’t be) a competition for the teacher’s favor. I sincerely hope your instructor is not playing favorites and courting this kind of behavior, but if so, you must rise above it.

    Your Responsibility

    You feel that the instructor is showing favoritism, and a lot of your energy is going into seeking examples to prove your belief. You can’t control what anyone else is doing except for yourself. Don't look at others and don’t nurture your feelings of jealousy. That's energy that needs to be channelled into effective studying.

    Take charge of your learning experience and ask for what you need. Make an appointment to meet with your instructor. Tell her you are concerned about your grade and ask for her help in improving your grade.
    Tell hear that you cannot hear and see if an accommodation can be made.

    If you continue to struggle with feelings of being ignored and treated unfairly, consider that you may have some unresolved issues around this that have more to do with you than your situation. The instructor may be a trigger.

    Nursing school is stressful and emotional responses can be heightened. Talk to a trusted person or counselor to put this in perspective. You don’t have to go it alone.

    Best wishes,
    Nurse Beth

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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,314; Likes: 3,921


  3. by   greenandsilver
    I recommend finding other students to form a study group or ask to join a study group (with the A students if possible). This should help tremendously. You can't be shy, just approach other students and sell yourself. Also a voice recorder at the teachers desk or at a desk near the teacher will allow you to listen to the lecture again if necessary. No one is going to hold your hand in nursing. You have to get a tough skin and learn to put yourself out there.
  4. by   HouTx
    Instructors are human. We are naturally more attuned to students who are more engaged in learning activities - as opposed to those who just sit through the class and never really participate. Beth's right. You need to take the first step and reach out to your instructor. Let him/her know that you are seeking to become more involved. Ask for assistance. Certainly, change your seat so you can hear and see what is going on.

    Please DO NOT record (audio or video) your instructor unless you have permission to do so. Just ask. Chances are, it's not a problem but doing so without the knowledge & permission of your instructor is a complete no-no.
  5. by   llg
    I strongly agree with everything HouTx wrote. Take charge of your education and don't rely on others to change to suit you.

    Meet with your instructor and ask for her help in improving your performance. Tell her you have trouble hearing and ask if you can record the class -- or change your seat. If communicating via e-mail or social media is how she prefers to communicate, give it a try.

    In short, don't waste time and energy focusing on other people's behavior. Invest your time and energy in establishing a postive relationship with your instructors and getting the help you need. Remain polite, positive and pro-active ... and don't try to prevent other students from getting what they need. They have found what works for them. You need to find what will work for you.