Good school teachers always possess a set of characteristics that make students love them and the subject they are teaching. Time flies, and yesterday’s school children become today’s university students to find out that their new professors have a different approach to teaching and to the learning process. When students in school answer the question about who they think a good teacher is, they say that a good teacher is like a school ‘mother’ – this teacher makes everybody feel comfortable, respected, and safe. However, professors are different. As some of them say, in school it is a teacher’s job to make sure students are learning. At the university it is students’ job to learn – and they need professors to help them find the right direction. Which qualities do great university professors usually possess? How do students rate their professor and which qualities do they appreciate the most?
Great Professor Love to Teach
To start with, a lot of students think that professors cannot use the statement ‘It is students’ job to learn’ as an excuse for their poor teaching. Many students believe that professors have to be teachers, teachers of a different level because students need to see that their professors want to lead them and want their students to feel excited about their subject and be sure that they can always easily contact their professor if they need help or advice. Those professors who work hard to encourage their students to study and come to every lecture and be attentive are highly respected and have a very good rating.
They Want to Make Their Subject Clear for Students
When people come to the university from high school, they quite often have to realize that they nice school times are gone and now they have to comprehend complex terminology and incomprehensible lectures and tutorials. However, some professors find it unnecessary to explode students’ minds with such difficult things and develop their lectures and lecture slides in such a way that will help students memorize terms faster and understand all the concepts. These great professors know how stressful students’ live is and how much information they have to keep in their mind, so they try to make it a little easier (easier, but not less effective!).
Good Professors Do Not Want Students to Fail on the Final Exam
Another very important aspect that makes everybody feel worried is exams. Although exams do not weigh 100% of the final grade, they are usually the most challenging part of the course (from 25% to 50%). Definitely, not a single student wants to fail on a final. All professors know that, and good professors design their entire course and their finals in such a way that everyone who worked hard during the term and completed every homework assignment could write the final exam without any problems.
Some professors give you extremely challenging homework assignments that require a lot of work and even the professor’s assistant, but the final exam is so much easier if you have managed to succeed in the previous assignments. Other professors give you an extremely long take-home exam and let you work on it for a week or even more. Since you can use your textbooks and the Internet, you will pass this test and get a good grade. In this case your professor just wants to see how well you can apply the skills that you have acquired during the term. In other words, good professors have no intention of failing you; on the contrary, they are interested in your understanding of the material and doing great on the final.
They Tend to Spend More Time with the Students
Great professors know how important their office hours are for students, so they schedule them twice per week (or even more often if case students request more). Students appreciate it when their professors show interest in their academic excellence and do whatever it takes to help them perform better and better. When professors are eager to spend more time with their children and provide them with more information, they get love and respect of their students who can feel that they are treated like future professionals and not like school kids. It is during the office hours when professors get to know their students closer and learn more about the difficulties their class faces and can redesign their lectures to clarify a specific topic or practice some exercise more.
Good Professors Want Their Students Learn More and Become Better
Great professors keep in mind that every student and every class is unique, and what worked perfectly well last year with one class can be not efficient this year with another group of people. They always ask questions, listen to their students, and pay a lot of attention to their responses: students came to the university to gain knowledge, and it is his/her goal to make the subject as clear for the young people as possible.
Great professors go above and beyond standard lectures and always want to entertain their students to make them more excited about the class because this is the only way to make them strive for more information and develop. Certainly, every student has his/her own favourite professors. Professors’ ratings are very helpful because you know what you can expect from certain professors, but it does not mean that you will be of the same opinion when you are done with the course. No matter how great your professor is – everything depends on you.