On Self-Respect for Students


The bond between a professor and their students is a bond that we all must traverse in college. This bond can lead to a love of one’s field of study when done right. Or this can lead to a full-on rebellion against an unjust and unqualified professor.

A professor should be flexible and available to students. As paying customers to the university, students should not be bashed for just having basic expectations for a professor of a class.

These expectations are the same expectations we should have in all aspects of our lives, from our friends and family to our career paths. These expectations are nothing more than having respect for ourselves and having the dignity to stand up for ourselves.

In general, if the majority of a class is failing an exam there is obviously something wrong with the instruction of the course. A professor who notices this and reevaluates their teaching strategy is one that displays the professionalism required for higher education.

Whereas a professor who instead allows students to depend on a curve or, worse, chooses to blame the students for their inability to instruct in the course is something that any self-respecting student should be disgusted at.

Our job is to learn, but a professor’s job is to instruct.

Furthermore, a professor should not expect anything more from students as they would expect from themselves. If professors expect students to move mountains, then the professor should strive to move mountains for students. Add content to Blackboard, send updates on office hour changes and listen to suggestions made by students to better aid them.

Any professor who willingly uses the excuse that it is too hard for them to fulfill a commitment or a simple request is not fit to instruct.

Finally, a professor needs to be understanding.

College is very important, and all students can agree on this. We give our time, our money and pretty much our entire lives to do what we do every day.

But, there exists situations where even the most important parts of our lives need to take a backseat to life. A chance to see family whom you may only have one chance to meet a year. Or perhaps a wedding or even the passing of a friend are all events in life that warrant time.

A professor should understand this because a professor is human. Don’t fail a student for going to a funeral of a close friend. I promise you, no one will ever forget a funeral, a last chance to say goodbye to a friend, but they will forget a quiz.

I will not be ashamed to hold my professors to the same standards that I hold myself at my jobs or in the classroom. I will not take an unjust answer. And neither should any student at NDSU. In college, we are here for our passions, not poor instruction.

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