back to school 2015 :: the best and worst professors I've had & a review

When I was in high school, every "college" movie I watched seemed to make the professors out to be horrible (Legally Blonde, anyone?) or extremely strict. My high school was always very relaxed, so the idea that I'd have to suffer for four years scared me. Thankfully I've been lucky to have a lot of amazing professors so far. Granted, I've only been in school for four semesters, but that's long enough for people to make lasting impressions. 

     • freshman year | Intro to Creative Writing & Intro to Poetry: Metaphor Matters
My first semester I took a class called Intro to Creative Writing. Clearly I love writing, so I jumped at the chance to do it for a grade. The class was scary at first because the professor had us write poems and read them. Out loud. To the class. Public speaking and I aren't great friends. But the professor was so hilarious and that class made me more confident in my writing that I had to take another class with him. And the class after (Intro to Poetry) was just as good. I still read the books I bought for the class. 

     • freshman year | Business Communication
I took this class with friends and that made it easier because this was another class with a lot of public speaking. I did horribly at that, of course, but there's a common theme to all of my favorite professors: They pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me realize I'm bigger than the box I've put myself in. My friends didn't like this teacher; they said she was too happy all the time and she was always trying to incorporate yoga (because she also taught that) into our lessons. But I learned so much from that class- from elevator pitches, to interview tips, to how to properly sell a company to your peers. 

     • sophomore year | Intro to Art
Yet again we have a class that made me go outside of my comfort zone. Each week we would have an assignment and when we met the following week, we'd have to present it to the class and have them critique it. The most impactful moment I had in this class was halfway through the semester. My professor pulled each student into the hall to tell them their grades since the class wasn't dual (online and on campus). When he got to me, he told me my grade and then asked my major. When I told him it was, at the time, finance, he looked disappointed. He looked at me and said, "If that's what you truly want to do, then do it. But I think you have the ability to pursue an art major, if you want." It was that moment I realized that college wasn't just about getting A's and doing homework every single night. It was also about being me. And I love art, so why deny myself that? After that day, I declared an art minor and have been happy since.

THE BAD(ish):
     • sophomore year | Accounting 241: Financial Accounting
This was the only class I have ever failed in my life. And while it upsets me that I've failed a class, I'm partially okay with it. By the time I realized how miserable the professor and his class made me, it was too late to withdraw, so I had to take the F. He was an okay guy, but he joked around too much for a class that clearly was lacking a good grasp on the material. And the biggest part was just that his teaching style and my learning style didn't go well together. He was a "here's your work, figure it out on the online website" guy, I'm the learned that needs a teacher to work things out with us. And not get sidetracked for 30 minutes when someone asks a question. 

The reason I said badish is because for the most part, it wasn't him I disliked. Just the way he taught. And you're going to have teachers that don't teach you well, but others excel with. You just need to learn your learning style and figure out what teachers you'll mesh best with. And that's where websites like come in...

Is Rate My Professor good? It can be. But the most important thing to remember is: Take the reviews with a grain of salt. In my experience, people leave reviews for exceptional things or horrible things. That means you're missing all of the in between reviews. The "they were good, I'd take another class with them" and the "they were okay, but they assign a lot of reading." 

Some tips for when you're reading reviews:
     » Look at the dates.
I've found teachers who only have reviews from 2010 and before. People change. So that teacher with 5 negative reviews from 2010 may not be so bad.
     » Look at the number of reviews, not just the overall score.
A teacher with 3 good reviews and 1 bad with have a lower score than a teacher with 30 good reviews and 12 bad. 
     » Try different spellings and nicknames.
I've looked up teachers listed as Robert on my school's website but listed as Rob on RMP. Don't give up after once search!
     » Don't turn away a teacher solely because of their score.
One of the professors I listed under 'The Good' has a horrible score on the website because some people didn't enjoy his sense of humor. Even though his score was low, the class was one I wanted to take and the time he taught was perfect for my schedule, so I signed up anyways.
     » Read the reviews.
Because you might think it's dumb to rate a teacher badly based off their humor and decide to take their class anyways. People leave bad reviews for dumb things all the time and it affects the overall score. 
     » When it doubt, ask.
My friend took econ before me and she said she hated her teacher. So when I was registering for econ, I made sure to check with her first. Even though his score was high on the website, I know my friend and I have similar learning styles, so I trusted her.

Do you look up professors before registering?
What has been your best or worst professor experience so far?


  1. RateMyProfessor is great but like you said, you kind of have to shuffle through the comments. One of my favorite professors had a really bad negative review and it just showed that everyone has different opinions.

    1. Definitely! Everyone has different opinions, so one person's view on a professor may not be yours.