The Importance of Selecting the Right Professor

If there was one major thing I have learned through my education, it is that the selection of a teacher is directly correlated to the success in the class.

An example that I like to give is the time when I received a C+ on a paper I wrote when I was a junior in high school.  I sought out my English teacher because I disagreed heavenly with her analysis of my paper.  We had a lengthy discussion as to why I received the grade I did, and I left it at that.  In retrospect, I think I wanted her to prove she didn’t just get tired of reading papers and start assigning grades based on some pre-defined notion.

My sophomore year of college I used this paper in a portfolio of papers.  I did this for three reasons, I was still mad about the grade I received after all of the hard work that I put into that paper, I believed that the paper was no less than a B+, considering the level of writing of my classmates, and thirdly, I felt that my professor would be a good litmus test to evaluate my theory.

I turned in the exact same paper, verbatim, as I had turned into my high school teacher.  I received an A- on the paper from my college professor.

You can draw many conclusions from this situation, but I think it is most important to realize that the opinion of one person, the “teacher”, can and will be invalid.

Now you may be saying that a teacher cannot always be accurate in their analysis, and I would agree with that fact.  I have accepted the fact that it is possible that if I were to give my paper to 50 teachers across the nation, that the range of grades would be distributed unevenly.

My point here is, that if you can do research on your professor or teacher, it could in fact provide a direct benefit to your grades.  It is no coincidence that I felt the teacher who gave me a C+ was unqualified for her job and that I had a great respect for the abilities of the professor who gave me the A-.  Thus, if I was given the choice of which teacher would be allowed to grade my paper, and that be the record of the grade for my paper, I would have chosen my college professor.  Unfortunately I did not have this choice, so I received both grades.

I will end with a proof of validity for RateMyProfessors.com.  I was taking a 300 level Communications class and I saw that there were four teachers teaching the class for the time period that fit into my college schedule.  I used RMP.com to choose which professor I wished to take the course with.  This professor that I choose based on feedback from other college students turned out to be the most amazing professor I had the pleasure of meeting to-date.

As they say, we may not be able to change our predicament, but we can choose the lesser of two evils.

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