Wednesday, 30 April 2014

10 Facts Your Teachers Don’t Always Tell You

Based on my experience of dealing with about 300 students, and from being a student myself! I wrote this article as a contributing writer for my alma mater's monthly magazine, but decided to share it here too. :)

1. We’re human. 
Shocking, I know! Being a lecturer or tutor does not suddenly make us robots that are immune to worldly forces. Being polite and appreciative goes a long way to set you apart from everyone else. I’m not saying you have to bribe your teachers with Starbucks and nasi lemak packets filled with love, but I’d say there’s a strong correlation between being a good student (who gets good grades on all on your own) and showing thanks. One of my best students gave me a Lego torchlight and another rock star baked me muffins – and I’d already given them A’s before I ever got their thanks.

2. We like to help students who try to help themselves.
If you hardly ever show up to classes but email your teacher 12 hours before the exam desperate for tips on what to study, can I just say you have really thick skin? One time I had a student who asked for my advice and then wouldn’t take any of my suggestions because I basically wouldn’t do her work for her.

3. Just because you sit at the back of the classroom does not mean you spontaneously develop powers of invisibility.
Whether you’re playing Candy Crush or Whatsapping your friends about how boring the class is, we can actually see you looking at your phone under your desk or inside your bag. As a tutor I sometimes sit at the back of lecture halls to monitor what the students are up to on their laptop screens or phones, and I just have to say you’re wasting a ton of money to be on Zalora or ASOS during class time.

 4. Teachers aren’t evil.
We don’t actually want anyone to fail the class. It’s just more paperwork for us! Kidding, we really don’t want anyone to fail. Your success is our success!

5. More homework for you is even more homework for us.
Are you hating on that 3,000-word essay you have to write? What about grading 300,000 words’ worth of essays in two weeks, and writing feedback for each paper? Then scaling the grades to make sure you’re being fair?

6. It’s not cool to talk smack about the faculty on social media.

You never know who’s going to read it and tell on you, or take a screenshot and share it! Have you ever seen the video where teachers read mean tweets about themselves?

7. We write your recommendation letters.
Whether you want to get into grad school or dive into the job market, you can’t get anywhere without strong references and recommendation letters. If you’ve been a generic student, you’re going to get a generic letter. Don’t be burning those bridges you need for the future.

8. Just because you’re whispering doesn’t mean nobody can hear you.
You know those annoying people in the cinema who talk when the movie’s on? That’s you, in a lecture hall or tutorial, when you whisper with your friends and bother the other people around you. Not only would you be making a bad impression on your teacher, you’re also getting blacklisted by your peers – no matter how chill they’re trying to seem.

9. When we’re on a deadline and there are 200 tests to grade, your handwriting matters.
Practice not to write chicken scratch, thank you.

10. All we want are peace, love and rainbows.

Lecturers and professors choose to teach because they genuinely enjoy the work and want to help students. Trust me, it’s not for the fame and glory. So make a teacher’s day better and do or say something nice! :)


Anfield Yee said...

This is a best article to write on Teacher's Day! :P