I'm in college, and chances are you have been too. Even if you have not attended college, someone close to you has. This is a good thing. In the United States, education provides opportunities for a better life. A college graduate will better understand themselves and the world around them. Graduates also get better chances for employment than individuals who do not attend college. However, college is not easy, and some individuals in the institution make it harder than it should be.
As a fifth-year student in college who will graduate in 2017, I have had plenty of professors. Luckily, most of them made my time in college enjoyable. However, a few have made my days of classes worse. These professors affecting me usually have a common trait. They are political. No, they are not political science professors even though they might consider themselves qualified. These professors make sure to sneak in their political bias into a lesson, and usually, their beliefs do not reflect mine. If I learned anything from my political science professor, it is that a good class should be about content and not about politics.
In the interest of not singling out a professor, I will not mention the class or the year. Instead, I will restate how their political views made my learning experience less effective.
One professor made sure to let me know how I fit in the political spectrum. This individual had the students in class introduce themselves and something about them. I talked about my work as a technology employee. I later expanded by stating how diverse my work is and how that is a positive thing. However, seeing as I am a white guy, my professor made sure to let me know that my ethnicity and gender had everything to do with my employment and not my ability as an intelligent human being.
I told this professor my opinion. I am one of many technology employees in a diverse position. Seeing as the truth was not fully exposed h to me, this professor told me to consider my boss as a privileged white male. After telling this professor about my female boss, they let me alone. Perhaps the professor thought I was lost in my ignorance.
Another experience with a political professor happened this year after the election. The day was right after the election, and this individual was not happy with the result. This professor lets us know how the country was different and invited our opinions. In the past, the professor lets everyone know they disagreed with the now president-elect.
The professor did not simply say how they disagreed with him but called him names. Now that the professor was asking for the opinions of the students in an open forum, nobody would talk. Finally, someone did talk, and all that individual did was bash the president-elect by stating he did not believe in science. The mood in the class became more uncomfortable before the lesson continued and we went about learning the class's content.
Neither of these college instructors are political professionals, to my knowledge. However, they are passionate. This passion can work against the goal of their job. As instructors, their job to instruct students and inform them on a topic that they as professors specialize in. When a professor gets passionate about their political beliefs, they take away the focus from the lesson.
Their passion can lead to students being marginalized like in my case. I do not like being told that I was given the things I know I worked hard for. Being told this by someone who had power over me discouraged me. It made me have a bad evening after class, and it made me reconsider what kind of teacher I had.
Good professors engage the classroom. They empower students. Good professors can make a boring subject fun for their class and make learning fun. Teachers who put their political agenda before their subject are making a mistake. Even if an individual professor believes in something passionately, they would be much better off informing students of a political topic in the scope of the lesson they teach that day. For many students, going that far would be an unwanted liberty by a professor.
If students are paying their professors to inform them, perhaps they should reflect the students' desire to learn by teaching the curriculum for which the class was created. Being told about how hard I work outside of school by a teacher will not make me depressed or cause me to fail a class. However, it will drastically affect the score I put on their feedback and their Rate My Professor.