The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NW Campus history professor: Teachers are here to assist you

By Edna Horton/nw news editor

Teachers are not enemies, a NW history professor told students during a NW Campus workshop last week.

Dr. Laura M. Wood presented Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want … in the Classroom as part of the Student Success Seminars Sept. 16.

“There’s a sort of idea that professors are sneaky in some way, sort of conniving. They trick you up,” Wood said.

Among common myths students have about their professors, Wood listed professors being students’ enemies, their working together to give tests on the same day, professors reading minds and professors never having been students.

“Every professor will tell you this is why we do this job,” Wood said. “We do want you to succeed. We want you to pass this course. Are we gonna set high standards? Sure we are because we think you can meet them. We want you to meet them.”

Wood suggested several tips to succeed in the classroom: read the syllabus, develop good study and work skills, don’t wait until the last minute to do work and communicate effectively with professors.

When communicating by e-mail, students should be as specific as possible about what the problem is, Wood said.

Professors will treat students with more respect if students treat them with respect as well. Students should always include in an e-mail to instructors their name, the class they are in and the section number of the class.

“You’d actually do a lot better, and your life would be a lot less stressful, if you don’t wait until the last minute,” she said.

Professors are willing to help students, but it is the student who should initiate contact. Wood said teachers expect and want students to contact them during their scheduled office hours. Also it is the student’s responsibility to keep up with upcoming assignments and missed work. Professors will often not remind students of due dates.

If students do go to a professor’s office during office hours, they should do so with a specific question.

Students can talk to professors about career goals during office hours but should make sure the visit has a specific reason. Students shouldn’t go to the office just to be there.

Wood said to be aware of all assigned reading. Professors will assign substantial amounts of reading, which may not be addressed in class.

But Wood said students need to do all assigned reading. Teachers also will not always follow the class textbook, so students should take notes during lectures.

Wood suggested setting up a schedule for reading instead of reading all the material at one time. She said to allot a certain amount of time every day and to take notes while reading.

Wood advised getting to know another student in class to have as a study buddy. When a class is missed, the buddies can swap notes to ensure no information is missed.

Students need to be prepared for tests since they can be infrequent and cumulative, Wood said. Some classes have only two or three a semester, and grades on tests and papers usually provide most of the course grade.

Students should figure out what is best for them when studying for a test since review sessions are rarely offered.

Wood said to watch out for the first tests. Students should write down all hints and suggestions given by instructors to pass their tests.

“If you only have three tests, and you bomb the first one, then you are really gonna have to make it up on the last two,” she said. “So better prepare for the first one. Know more than you need to. Don’t know the least amount you need to do to succeed.”

There are no exceptions to the rules. Wood said students should not expect to be the center of the professor’s universe. If there is a true crisis and an assignment cannot be completed or classes cannot be attended, students should notify their professors as soon as possible.

Students should do everything possible to avoid dropping classes, Wood said. Professors can help with any problems as long as they know help is needed.

If a student is feeling a class is too difficult, he or she needs to let the professor know so that help can be arranged.

“If you stay in that class and you thought you couldn’t succeed and you do, you realize you can succeed at almost anything,” she said.

College is about life experiences, and professors are there to help if students let them, Wood said.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian