What to do when instructor is not so good?


I'm not sure what to do here:confused: I am taking A&P II this summer. The course is 8 weeks long. We having about 1 lecture test per week and 1 lab test per week. The problem is the instructor. I think she's a terrible lecturer. No one can follow her - she jumps all over the place from topic to topic and constantly waivers from the chapter objectives. She either gives us too much detailed information that we don't need to know or she completely "blows off" some of the material. She is a fairly new instructor the school and I don't think her background of Anatomy & Physiology is very strong. Our first exam is Monday and I'm starting to freak out. I'm completely afraid that her exam will look very different from my textbook or my lecture notes :eek: My question is what do you do when you have an instructor that seems to be not as competent as you think she should be? Many my classmates feel the same way. She's a wonderful person, but I don't think she should be teaching A&P.:rolleyes:

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho.

I think i would find out if she is making her own tests or if she is using a test from the department that was already made up. That should guide you as to what to study. If it is her test, follow your notes. If it is a departmental test, follow your chapter in the book. The only way to find out is to ask, approach in a careful manner so she doesnt take offense and she will give you the information you need.

If she tests on a lot of content you dont feel she covered in her lectures, or even referred to, pick out some concrete examples and maybe shell throw those questions out if enough people approach her about it. You will know more what to expect after the first test.


89 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

I know when I took some classes at my community college they handed out anonymous questionaires about the professor and the class. I also think you had space to write in comments. Maybe your college does that too. So I would write in what you think the professor could improve upon. I bet you aren't the only one in your class who feels this way and maybe enough people will comment on this problem. It won't help you much but it will help future A&P students.

nightingale, RN

2,404 Posts

Oh how I remember those days! So much of school is trying to figure out what is testable material.

You mentioned an outline and that may be helpful. When I was in my top form, I would outline the topics in the outline.

I agree with the first statement:

I think i would find out if she is making her own tests or if she is using a test from the department that was already made up. That should guide you as to what to study. If it is her test, follow your notes. If it is a departmental test, follow your chapter in the book. The only way to find out is to ask, approach in a careful manner so she doesnt take offense and she will give you the information you need.

To further elaborate; ask, ask, and ask. I became very close to many of my instructors by asking lots of questions and they loved it.

I hope this info helps!



1,569 Posts

Specializes in LDRP.

I would definitely schedule an appt w/ this instructor by calling her office or even her home phone (many school lists instructors home phones in the cataloge). Explain your concerns and that you dont feel you have the information to do well on her exam. Be firm and polite-maybe write down what you want to say so you are very clear. Then write down what she says. Dont p*** her off tho-you want her on your side for now, right? If she is helpful, then great. If not, take the test and if you do poorly, march straight into her office and restate the problem! If she still isnt helpful, consider dropping the course or going above her head. Dont settle for a bad grade due to her inadequatecies as a teacher! I have found that the more in contact you are with your instructors and the school you attend, the more you are respected, the more you learn, and the better your grades are. Personally I dont settle for a mediocre education when I pay so much for it, and neither should you! You are a CONSUMER! You are paying this educator! You can always remind her of that! ;) Good luck to you,

Amy (wife to a teacher who puts up with a lot of crap, but is excellent in every way because of some of it)


374 Posts

i had one instructor for 4 out of 5 classes he basically taught nothing and gave us tests with all kinds of mistakes and would also grade us wrong people griped and complained and yes there were anonymous surveys but he has a phd and they needed him to keep the programs licensed he was there for the money only it was a second job. i aced all the classes by studing on my own and class participation plus i would have raised a rucuss at the dean and higher up about this cruddy teacher. unfortunely cruddy teachers are everywhere and i've been to other colleges and they just don't care either. show up for class on time, participate, study on own, do your best on tests, keep records of everything, if necessary find out what other students say and go to a higher up. unfortunately you will have other teachers, nurses doctors ect who are like this.


148 Posts

Thanks to everyone for your responses. I think I will just wait and see what the first exam is like. In A&P I we were given an outline of course objectives that was designed by the Biology Department and a powerpoint presentation, and were told if we had that covered we would be fine - and we were! A&P II at this school is supposed to be the same way, but I think this instructor has her own agenda. She is not using the department exams, which are mostly essay based questions. She is writing her own and they are the multiple choice K-type exams that can have more than one right answer. I am praying that at the end of this 8-weeks I will be saying that this is the best class I ever took, but I don't feel that way right now!:D


312 Posts

I too took A&P II over a summer class - 8wks. We were disecting cats .... on the first day of lab we opened up the cat. My lab teacher identified the liver as the lungs!!!! It didn't get any better. The pancreas he id'd as the spleen ... a male cat became a female cat when he looked at it! Fortunately the class instructor was different from the lab instructor, so I just concentrated on my class grades to help my overall grade.


349 Posts

Sounds like you got my A&P 1 teacher from last semester!



97 Posts

I never went to the time and trouble to reveiw study notes for this reason:

MOST TEST ARE MADE UP FROM OTHER CLASSES... very rarely does the teacher make up the test...

MORE THE 50% of class should be considered TEACHER GUIDED... (had a math teacher who couldn't teach a thing) - she would do just what you wrote above... being really poor in math... I refused to let her confuse me.... I would check out the chapters for the Unit and Sections and spent alot of time in the library at lunch.... the other students there where helpful enough to help me out when needed and i passed... .. NO THANKS to the teacher from H3LL

WHAT IS Studing all about - a teacher can't teach you a thing unless you're willing to learn... and if the teacher doesn't teach you a thing... then teach yourself... WHAT are practicals all about... So take yourself to an a superior level of independence and teach yourself.

And last but not least the teacher is there for her 'career' your there for YOU :)


1,326 Posts

Hi AM,

I feel for you. I am taking A&P I right now. It is 4 credits condensed to two nights a week for 10 weeks.

At my school the teachers for the summer sessions are "luck of the drawl". They aren't the typical fall and spring semester teachers and are brought in from other schools to teach for the summer.

This person may be new to teaching and may not realize that they are confusing the students. Heck, this may be the first time they ever taught an A&P class. So, I would suggest that you ask as many questions as you need to til you can figure out what material is important and how you will be tested. If enough of you ask questions the teacher may get the hint that they need to be more clear.

I've found in my class that there honestly isn't enough time for the teacher to "discuss and explain" everything that needs to be covered. It's not the teachers fault. There is just a ton of information that needs to be covered in a short amount of time. Our teacher has been kind enough to only give us notes on topics that are important and will be covered on exams. He also gives us a list of important tables and diagrams from the book that will either be on the test or that are helpful to us while we study.

Otherwise, however, we are on our own and pretty much have to "teach ourselves" from the book.

As I said, before, ask a lot of questions and after the first exam, hopefully you'll have a better idea of what the teacher is stressing.


148 Posts

Well, I managed somehow by the grace of God I suppose, to get a 90% on my 1st exam in the A&P II class from hell! :eek: I got a 92% on the lab test this week too :D

So, I'm 25% done with this class and only a grueling 6 more weeks to go!

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