Opal Siren

My life in dreams

An Education…

on November 14, 2011

A few things a stressed out grad student  expects from a teacher.

We all have been through it. We attend school, college or even graduate school…try the best we can, try to pass the class or grade, and attempt to graduate. In some cases, there are some of us that don’t try at all and rather bask in the sun or go watch a movie. But, I can assure you there are some of us who enjoy reading and learning, and are committed to the subject at hand.

It is more often than not, that I hear or read what the teacher expects from the students. A teacher often expects cooperation, dedication, commitment, good behavior, participation, honesty, parental involvement, etc.

But, it is not often that the teacher LISTENS to what the students need. Has it ever occurred to those that want to be good educators to listen to the needs of the students ?

Here, I attempt to point out a just few needs from a student’s perspective (Note: Not all needs are created equal).


1. Please give clear directions. As a student, a remote one none the least, I rely on E-mails and what the instructor writes on the class website. I cannot do the task to your satisfaction if the directions that are being given are misleading, confusing and plain unachievable.

2. Please grade the work submitted promptly. Each assignment normally builds on the last assignment. I cannot catch any errors if you are  not grading promptly. If I cannot see my errors, I cannot avoid them in future homeworks.

3. Please be fair. If a student is trying their hardest and giving their all to the subject, you owe it to them to assist and encourage them in a positive way, either by allowing them to re-submit work or providing extra help. We all know educators are very busy as it is, but the reason you are an educator  and pursuing your PASSION is because of the students that want to learn the subject. If this is not your passion, that is another story. Also, I know there are students that are  lazy and plain inconsiderate, but these pointers are for the ones that are really trying to succeed. You owe it to them!!!

4. Please give positive reinforcement. I am not going to learn ANYTHING in your class, if you mark my assignments with nasty comments. Just like you have protocols in place for students on how they should address you, I expect the same in return. Your comments should be intelligently written to aid me in my studies. They should NOT be insulting, degrading or unrelated to the material. Keep your rants and frustrations about me to yourself. I often have to do it when doing the work and out of respect for you. You don’t have to like me, but you need to do your job so that I can do mine 🙂

Oh and in addition to point #4, constantly reminding students of the final withdrawal date for the class, is NOT positive reinforcement. You should be encouraging and motivating the students to finish what they started. It is not easy for many adult students to work, raise a family and try to attend graduate classes. They are busy too and deserve at least some motivation. If not, we would all have given up by now.

5. Please be considerate. Yes, I know. Many students are very inconsiderate of others and they cheat and lie. BUT, you must set the example and you owe it to those that are honest and trying to do the work. Sending massive amounts of E-mails is NOT considerate and can really stress out a student. Incorporate all the ideas in your E-mails, in nicely formatted lecture and make it accessible to the student. You cannot expect a student to remember each E-mail sent, especially if they are averaging in the 50’s per day. Again, be considerate that some of us are busy professionals. Make the learning format easy to access, the subject may already be challenging.

6. Educators: remember that some of us are struggling to come up with tuition funds, which keeps getting higher each year, in this jobless economy that we are currently in. Please be mindful of this and help your students succeed.

Finally, The purpose of these pointers are in no way trying to offend educators or insult anyone. These are just a few things that I, as a student, have observed in my experience and would like to see changed.

Happy Reading!!!!


2 responses to “An Education…

  1. Jennifer says:

    I totally agree! Number 1 especially… It’s so frustrating when you spend hours working on something only to find out it wasn’t quite what your instructor wanted – because they were too vague! How hard is it to give clear, concise directions?!

  2. Aw, this was a really nice post. In concept I would like to put in writing like this additionally ? taking time and actual effort to make a very good article? however what can I say? I procrastinate alot and certainly not appear to get one thing done.

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