Saturday, January 27, 2007

Playing favourites

I'm going to let you in on three little secrets.

First, professors have favourite students.

Some don't like to talk about it, and some may pretend it isn't true, but its inevitable. Why? Not because we're "human" but because for the most part, professors get into professing because they want to inspire students the way they were inspired once upon a time. Now, I know that for some profs that has long worn off and their trying to get through the days without going crazy -- and not always succeeding. But those ones are in the minority. Professors care about what they're doing and they quite understandably want students to care too. And so when professors see two students, one carefully taking notes, the other staring at the wall, one actually listening, the other drawing cartoons in the margins of a scribbler, one asking intelligent questions and the other running off at every opportunity...well, which one of these students would make YOU feel like you're not wasting your life?

So here's another secret. I don't think that professors having favourites is such a bad thing.

The last secret is the secret to academic success. Find the professors you respect, the ones that really know their stuff, the ones that really care, the ones that really want you to learn. Then be their favourites.


Anonymous said...

Check, check, check! My academic success depended on my ability to demonstrate those favourable student qualities... of course it doesn't hurt to be a wildly charismatic character either. For any students who may feel put off by some of the eccentric qualities of Dr. Pettigrew--say, for example, academic standards-- he is undoubtedly a professor dedicated to effective teaching practices that provide students with opportunities to succeed... and he knows his stuff.
Becky Clyburn Former Favorite

Anonymous said...

Thanks for being the professor any student would be honored to spend their tuesdays with

Anonymous said...

a little secret about TAs... we have favorite students too. dammit, how could we not? after the hours i have spent on lesson plans, TAing, and grading exams and essays, i finally get it. students who don't care, make no effort, fail miserably, and then celebrate by blaming it on the person grading them make me craaaaaaaaazy. and that's my rant for the day. *deep breath*
~ ariane