I respect my professors unconditionally and appreciate their passion for teaching. However, I also feel that some professors don't understand the minds of a majority of their students. It's not easy being a student: it comes with stress, sacrifice and a lot of expenses. We want our degrees, but we also want a chance to breathe every once in a while.
1. I’m not just a student, you know...
While being a student is technically my full-time position on paper, my life actually does consist of other things. I work about 30 hours a week, have two internships and would also like to find time for myself every once in a while. Trust me, I respect your class and the schedule you intend for me to abide by, but in return you should respect my schedule as well.
2. I’m paying for this class. You should consider this in your attendance policy—and some of your policies are absolutely ridiculous.
I can promise you that I don’t intend on wasting money by not showing up to your class. But if one day I am just not feeling well, I shouldn’t lose a letter grade for being absent. As I’m sure you know, I don’t need to go to the doctor every time I’m sick. I’ll bet you don’t see a doctor for a small case of the sniffles either. But hey, if you would rather me be miserable in your class and thinking of everything except for the material, I’ll force myself to show up.
3. Group projects just are not all that practical.
I really do understand that once I’m in the workforce, teamwork will be necessary. However, the people I work with once I have a full-time job will be on the same schedule as I am on a daily basis. Students have completely opposite schedules and it’s so unrealistic to find a mutual time to meet. We’re busy with four other classes and working our butts off to pay bills.
4. To read or not to read...
I know that we are supposed to read the 100 pages you assigned to us for class discussion tomorrow, but do you really think we are going to read all 100 pages before 9 a.m. when we have two other papers due and a PowerPoint to make? It’s just not going to happen. We want to, but we just don’t have that kind of time.
5. While I want to learn the material, there are times that what makes sense to you makes zero sense to me.
Don’t forget that there are times when I am genuinely not following what you’re saying. It’s not because I am not paying attention or not trying to understand. Some of this material is completely foreign to me. You chose the awesome profession of teaching, so please, teach and don’t tell.
6. My devices are resources!
I understand that you don’t want your students to be distracted by social media or other sites. But we are adults and should be able to use our devices if we please. I use my computer to take notes and look up definitions to better understand your lecture. And I can promise you that if I get a text message, the five seconds that I am looking down at my phone won’t force me to miss important information. I shouldn’t have to feel like I am back in middle school trying to hide my phone.
7. Don’t forget that we are in school for a reason.
We want our degrees (well, most of us). I want to learn and I want to finish schooling. That means I want to participate and complete my work at the best of my ability. So please, on behalf of all college students, remember that your class is a source of our stress (this means we care). Don’t overload us with work and expect perfection at all times. We want to do well, but that’s only possible if you want us to do well, too.