6 Things Your Professor Wishes You Knew
Professor. The word can elicit feelings of gratitude or sheer fear. No matter what you think of your professors, there are a few things they wished you knew. Learn how they really feel from a professor.
I've recently started teaching again. As a professor in the Masters of Healthcare Administration Program at the University of Cincinnati, I come in contact with students in many different parts of healthcare. I have nurses, doctors, therapists, and business professionals in my Global Health course.
I genuinely enjoy teaching and building into my students. But, it seems that every semester I teach, I say or write the same things to my students.
This got me thinking about a few basic things I wish my students knew before they started back to school. I think most professors would agree to at least a few of my thought. And, I know they would have helped me all the times I went back to school over the years.
Here are a few things to consider about your professor.
We want you to succeed
I am sure you can think of at least one professor who makes you feel this line is not true. While some professors seem to find joy in making students jump through hoops, I firmly believe that even those professors want you to succeed.
As a professor, I often think of a boss I had who was a total bear to deal with on a daily basis. She criticized every project and rarely had any positive feedback to give. I want my students to be ready for this boss in their careers.
To do this, I give lots of feedback, even on simple assignments. I always couple negative comments with a few positive ones and let the student know that I am here to help if needed. As professors, we want to be part of your journey to success, and we want you to have positive memories of how we helped you achieve greatness.
Online Courses are Hard
I think many people believe that because it's all online that you will somehow be able to fool the professor into thinking you read the assignment. This just isn't so. I can almost always pick out the one student that skimmed through the readings.
Online courses tend to be reading and writing intensive. We want you to give us your insight so that we know you understood the assignment and can logically apply the information to your daily practices. But, it won't be easy. It is going to require work and good study habits to be successful.
We Know What You're Going Through
No matter how long ago your professor graduated, they know what you are going through and appreciate the struggle.
I graduated from the MHA program in December of 2016, so the hard work is still pretty fresh in my mind. We remember the sleepless nights, confusion when reading the syllabus, and how hard it is to say no to friends when they call you at the last minute to go out on a Friday night.
You Must Read the Syllabus
I cannot tell you how many times I have had to give a student a lower grade just because they did not follow the details of the assignment. Don't be that student!
Read the syllabus, front to back. Reread it to make sure you didn't miss something important. Highlight the sections about your routine work and be sure to highlight the details about papers or other big assignments.
Whether you're in class with your professor or you post in discussion boards, you must participate. Don't respond only because it is required. Respond because you want to be in class and learn more about this profession you're entering.
We Hope You Enjoy the Journey
I teach because I love building into my students. I want to hear about their journey. I want them to email me and tell me how the assignment from last week made them think or came into play during an experience at work. This is when I know that you are learning and thinking outside of the discussion board.
If you are currently enrolled in school or getting ready to start in the fall, I hope these six things will come to mind the next time you feel your professor doesn't understand or care.
If you are a professor, what did I miss? What other things do you wish you your students knew about your or about the college experience in general. I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.Last edit by Joe V on Jun 14
About Melissa Mills, BSN
Melissa Mills has been a nurse for 20 years. She is a freelance writer, career coach, and owner of makingspace.company. She enjoys writing about leadership, careers, lifestyle, and wellness.
Joined: Feb '17; Posts: 217; Likes: 711
Freelance Writer, Nurse Case Manager, Professor; from OH , USJun 12Occupation: Nurse Educator Specialty: 13 year(s) of experience in NICU ; From: TX, US ; Joined: Nov '05; Posts: 8,750; Likes: 1,692Nice work! I enjoyed reading this. When I earned a distance-based master's degree, my favorite professors were the ones that I saw as the most engaged with us in discussions, but it's certainly a two-way street that really starts with the students being engaged.
I teach clinicals in an initial-licensure undergrad program, so when my students complain about things being hard, I try to have them think about all of the hard things that could happen to a nurse on any given shift (the EMR goes down, your patients have extensive needs, Joint Commission is in the house, you are precepting a nursing student, etc). They may get annoyed by working through a long nursing care plan, but in that process they are learning prioritization, critical thinking, and the ability to deal with frustration. Most days, they will need all of those skills as a nurse.Jun 14Occupation: Freelance Writer, Nurse Case Manager, Professor From: OH, US ; Joined: Feb '17; Posts: 217; Likes: 711Thanks EricJRN! Glad you enjoyed the article. I love teaching and wish my students knew just how much I want to see them succeed.