(HigherEducating.com) – Many of us have had at least one or two bad teachers in our lives. They may seem mean or passive aggressive — or maybe you just can’t stand their teaching style.
Having a difficult teacher can make classroom success far more challenging. But it’s not impossible. It’s time to take responsibility and implement new tactics so you can make it through the semester and — hopefully — learn something along the way. Here’s how.
Talk to the Professor
While genuinely bad professors do exist, the vast majority of them want you to succeed. Most teachers are happy to help as long as you’re willing to put in the work. So, if you’re struggling with a teacher, the first step is simple. You can talk to them.
Engaging in an open conversation can clear up misunderstandings and help you establish a more positive student-professor relationship. Often, teachers are easier to communicate with one-on-one than in the classroom.
Get a Tutor
It’s better to seek help when you need it than wait until your grades are already suffering. Your campus probably has tutors available, and there are a variety of online tutoring services you can reach out to, such as Chegg, Tutor.com and more.
Often, tutors can explain your subject matter in a different light and provide you with more effective study strategies. This can make it easier to keep up in class and stay on top of assignments, even if you have a difficult teacher.
Team Up With Your Classmates
Sometimes, it’s not just you. Your classmates could be having some of the same challenges, and it can help to have some common ground with them. You can even host study sessions, bounce ideas off one another and work through some of your issues together.
If all else fails, consider talking to students who’ve taken classes with the difficult teacher before. You can ask them what they did to succeed, and perhaps learn more about the professor at the same time.
Consider Your Behavior and Habits
Taking responsibility is about being willing to make changes to your own habits when necessary. If you’re having trouble focusing in class or getting along with a professor, try asking yourself why. What do you dislike about the teacher? Have you tried to communicate with them? Are you using all class resources wisely?
Analyzing your own behavior can give you better insight about the situation and what you can do to improve it. Making it through a class sometimes requires the ability to adapt to new rules, ideas and teaching styles.
Use Other Resources
Some professors simply may not provide the support you need. Luckily, there are other resources available to help if your teacher isn’t doing their fair share to educate you. These may range from the textbook and syllabus to campus library books and online educational sites.
Combined with study sessions and tutoring, these resources can help you form a better grasp of the course material and succeed despite a difficult teacher.
Learning from a difficult teacher can be challenging, but it’s doable if you have the necessary support and work ethic. Try out some of these tips for your next class, and they may set you up for a less stressful semester!
~Here’s to Your Success!
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