They’re a strange bunch. Over the course of your BA you will meet all sorts: the crazy, outlandish lecturer with the jokes; the timid, bumbling lecturer who you can’t even hear; the ancient, wise lecturer; the trendy, young, funky lecturer; the techno-savvy lecturer; the lecturer who still uses OHPs. There will be lecturers who spend hours trying to help you, and there will be lecturers who don’t give you their time of day. There will be charismatic lecturers, and there will be goofballs. Some lecturers you will establish fantastic working relationships with, and some you will struggle to get a one-line email response from.
Yes, lecturers come in all shapes and sizes, and ticking each sort off your list is a central part of the uni experience. Some lecturers will inspire you to sing their praises to everyone you know, while others will leave you feeling frustrated and cheated. Some will make lecturers fun, others will make them an endurance test.
Go with the flow. Part of your job as a student is to do your best to adapt to the different teaching styles that you come across – remember, lecturers aren’t trained as teachers, they’re just really smart people who get paid to research and report back their findings to the student masses. Unless you feel that your lecturer is not actually teaching you what the course outline promised (in which case you need to contact the Programme Coordinator or Student Support Services), you need to do your best to accept and make the most out of their classes.
There’s nothing wrong with a bit of constructive criticism, though. Most lecturers will distribute feedback forms at the end of the course, but don’t wait until then to have your say on what you think they could be doing better. Tearing your hair out due to no feedback on your assignments? Politely ask for a bit more feedback on that essay. Totally in the dark about yesterday’s lesson? Request that additional notes be put up. Three weeks in, and you feel as though you still don’t get it? Book in a time during their office hours to have a chat.
And, if they’re doing a great job – let them know. Like the way they play a song at the start of every lecture? Tell them! Love how they put things in terms that you understand? Let them know! Appreciate the amount of constructive feedback they write on your assignments? Thank them!
They’re a strange bunch, but their knowledge is indispensable. We need to adapt to their styles, but we also need to help them adapt to ours. It’s our job to help them to help us.