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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NW teacher gets acclaim on website

Rate My Professor
Rate My Professor

By Hope Sandusky/nw news editor has been used widely by students to find out who the best instructor is for any given course they are thinking about taking.

Some TCC students may be surprised to find out that one of their own instructors has made the top-ranked list.

When NW physical education instructor Joseph Maestas received the news that he was ranked second internationally on the Highest Rated Junior and Community College Professors of 2013-2014 list, it was a ranking that he never even expected.

“I was very surprised when RateMyProfessor emailed me,” he said. “I got an email saying ‘Congrats!’ while getting an email from TCCBuzz asking me questions on how I felt about the ranking, so I found out about it that way.”

Maestas admits to checking RateMyProfessor when the site first started but hasn’t checked or followed his ranking in several years.

NW instructor Joseph Maestas is ranked second in the world among community college instructors. Photo by: Hope Sandusky/The Collegian
NW instructor Joseph Maestas is ranked second in the world among community college instructors.
Photo by: Hope Sandusky/The Collegian

“I never had any expectation with RateMyProfessor because I hadn’t thought about the ranking aspect of it,” he said. “I always thought it was cool when it first started to have a top-ranked list, but I never imagined my profile would be on it.” is used by students to rate professors, evaluating their clarity, helpfulness, easiness and rater-interest level before attending the class. Only professors with over 30 reviews are ranked, and Maestas was ranked among 1.4 million professors across the world, becoming TCC’s only instructor to make the list.

“The rating for me is a validation of what I do,” he said. “The rating is motivated and initiated by a student on their own. If a student has said to themselves, ‘I like this guy enough that I want to tell others about him,’ then that’s all the validation I need for what I’m doing.”

Some of Maestas’ ratings include the following:
“This professor is amazing. He really cares about what he is teaching and the students. Review day is just like the test. You study you pass. Plain and simple. Pay attention in class. You’ll learn a little something about life with him. I recommend him 100%!”
“Mr. Maestas genuinely cares for his students and will give you all the tools necessary for success in his class. He has a great sense of humor and made class fun.”

“Awesome, funny, caring, and did I mention funny? Very attentive to every student, always has time to help you, very understanding, will work with you if you ask, and you really do learn some important life lessons.”

Maestas said he’d never thought he’d be teaching, much less at the college level, until he needed side work and saw an ad for an adjunct instructor at TCC in 2000.

“I was selling Yellow Page ads and saw the ad one day in the paper,” he said. “I was reading the qualifications and thought ‘Hey, I meet all of those!’ and I applied. Within that first class for that very first semester, I knew this was my calling and what I wanted to do with my life.”

Maestas became a full-time instructor in 2008, a position he said he would have taken sooner if an opening had been available.

“I’ve been fortunate enough that I can get paid for something I’m passionate about doing,” he said. “This job is something that I do by nature and would do even without the paycheck.”

Maestas’ goal with his teaching is to have students come away with an understanding of how to balance all aspects of their lives.

“I don’t restrict myself to what the textbook or what the title of the class says,” he said. “I bring things that relate to life as they experience it now. I don’t think I would be doing my job if I wasn’t bringing in the life aspect into it because this is what they’re dealing with everyday.”

Maestas talks about life balance to his students from the very first day of class and says it begins with respecting the inner self.

“Life is multidimensional,” he said. “I want them to know it’s about balancing everything in a way that lets them reach their potential and have a quality of life they can enjoy fully.

“That self-actualization of respect and love for themselves is what I strive for them to reach because then that will lead them to fulfillment and potential.”

Maestas relates the life balance to Dr. Seuss’ book Oh, the Places You’ll Go.

“We’re all just Whos in Whoville,” he said. “We need personal balance in order to succeed. For every person, it’s different. But for every person, it’s necessary.”

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