Students Share Red Flags About Their Professors That Made Them Drop A Class Immediately
They didn't even have a chance to get all the way to "RateMyProfessor". Once the students sat down in these classes, they immediately wanted to run away.
Here were some of those answers.
Over the winter break of my freshman year I was diagnosed with a degenerative bone disease in my knees which meant I had to use crutches for a while (then eventually a wheelchair for a time).
I was late to my philosophy 101 class (due to adjusting to my newfound limitations). I apologized for my tardiness and tried to find my seat without making a fuss.
As I was making my way across the classroom my philosophy teacher remarked "everyone, let's just patiently wait for the cripple here to get to his seat."
It's possible she had believed I was one of several skiing injuries that the student body had incurred over winter break, but either way after that first day I never came back to that class.
39. Unrelated Information
I had a lecturer that did that but it was compounded by the fact that she would have a whole page of text appear on the page letter by letter, with each letter accompanied by either the typewriter or laser sound effect.
At the end of each slide:
"So you can see by that example that clearly what was required was this:"
Pew-pew-pew-pew-pew-pew-pew-pew etc for about 2-3 minutes of everyone just waiting for the pew-pew-pew-ing to conclude so the lecture could resume.
Also, for no apparent reason, she interrupted her own lectures about 3 times to inform us that if you take the glass plate out of the microwave you can cram the whole microwave full of hot dogs wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling and they will all cook just fine.
1: No they won't
2: The course was something to do with computers, and was not hot-dog/microwave related.
38. Plugging Your Own Materials
"These books are required for the class. I wasn't able to get the revision into the bookstore in time, so the only place you can get them is from me directly or from my website. I will warn you, if you don't buy the books you won't get the login information to be able to take the final, which is 90% of your grade."
"Oh, and no, I can't accept financial aid for them, but it's only $250 so it's not a big deal."
Never seen an entire class get up 5 minutes in and leave before.
I had a professor that in hindsight I really should have dropped. It was a Western Civilization History class, and the first day the entirety of the class he spent talking about how he missed his old job teaching in Europe because "American students are more lazy and incapable of getting as high of grades."
Then he showed intro YouTube videos from his personal laptop hooked to a projector and all of the "Recommend" videos all had titles like "grinding with thong", "sexy college babe grinding", etc.
I thought he was just eccentric, but the guy was easily the worst teacher I ever had. He would expect you to totally memorize all the chapters-- he would quiz on material that didn't matter for concepts. (Ie: What was the name of Caesar's second cousin?)
When the information would be found in a huge family tree. The only students in the class with A's were women, and he would grade their quizzes differently and be MUCH more lenient. (The students compared quiz results.)
Someone in class called him out and he said that he was tired of teaching Americans and doesn't get paid enough. (Literally)
36. GPA Cuts For Their Ego
Back when I started college, I got straight A+s in a class, but when I went to check on my overall grade, I had a B+, found it odd and went to question my teacher about it, he said that he dropped down my grade because the class was a bit of a pain in the @ss (he didn't use those exact words, but thats what he meant)
Then I questioned him again about my posture, asking if I did anything wrong, or disturbed class or whatever, he promptly said I didn't and that I was a great student, which made me ask again "Why is grade lower then", he told the same excuse from above, then I asked if he was planning on changing my grade at all, since I had only As, and he promply said he wasn't going to change.
Fast forward a few days, I ended up filing a complaint about him and his method of grading students, and the college made him change my grade. After that he approached me and said something like "Hey u/Phorcyss you didn't have to file a complaint about me, I was gonna fix your grade" yada yada.
35. Just Barely Passed
I've had teachers that I just simply couldn't understand due to a language barrier and in hindsight I should have dropped immediately. I learned that basically if you can't understand what the teacher is saying, be prepared to teach yourself a lot of the class.
I had an accounting teacher one time who was Chinese and I remember sitting in that class on the first day scratching my head because I had no idea what she was saying. I looked around and a lot of the other people had the same look on their faces.
The next week I showed up to class and what was once a classroom of about 40 people was now about 12. I should have known right there to drop, but I didn't.
I stuck it out and a few weeks go by and it didn't get any better. I got my first test back and completely bombed it. I told myself right then that I was going to have to teach myself the material and that coming to class was pointless.
So I taught myself accounting by using the textbook. Since I didn't go to class I missed all of her pop-quizzes but just told myself I'll make it up on the tests. I only showed up for tests and the final and lo and behold, I passed the class.
34. Not Thanking You
My main homeroom teacher/English history teacher/etc in middle school constantly returned my homework for 0 credit, unless and until I re-wrote everything to her standards of penmanship. I had wavy cursive, but not illegible writing, and also WTF mrs Eisner??
She once told me, "Someday when you're grown up you'll thank me for this."
And I thought, no I won't, you *ss.
Am now grown up. Still think she was an *ss.
There was this tiny little teacher's aide in my class, Carla. She was really quiet and nice and was just as bullied by the teacher as we were.
Right after college, I was teaching art classes and running field trips at a children's museum. Carla came in as a teacher with her own class of students, and we recognized each other and had a happy minute catching up.
I sort of roundabout brought up Eisner, not wanting to be impolite, and Carla goes "Oh! She was such a b*tch!" Yes, yes she was. Damn that was validating.
33. Seems Defensive But Ok
A prof who is clearly off his meds.
Over the course of my one month in the class, he was constantly rude and unbelievably condescending to literally everyone.
Example: We were on a section talking about multiple sclerosis and how its signals misfire from the brain. A student said "my cousin has MS and says this is how he was told what was happening. Is that correct?".
Prof gets red in the face and yells "I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR COUSIN WITH MS!" and proceeds to rant about how interrupting him with stupid questions is a waste of his time. He never answered the question.
During the second week, less that half the class showed up (or a noticeable chunk). He yelled at us that DID show up about how disrespectful it was, then said we would have to learn this section on our own and that we would be heavily tested on it, then stormed out of class. There was no participation mark in the class.
Also, he stated at the beginning of the semester that more that 50% of students dropped his course. Our grades consisted of a 40% midterm and a 60% final.
I took the midterm before dropping the class. It was the hardest test i have ever taken in my life. He expected us to answer questions that we hadn't been taught.
When confronted, he said "you should always be applying the course material to future study". Class average on that was 15%. Highest mark was 68%. Next highest was 32%. He doesn't scale.
Want to complain? Talk to the head of the department. SURPRISE! He is head of the department. HotD can only be held for 2 year. He managed to hold it for 4 due to a loophole or something (no department head wanted to upset him probably).
Yes, he had been required by the university to take meds to keep his job. I don't think he ever actually took them.
32. Well, Maybe Teach Instead
When I was 18 I took a Beauty Therapy and Science class. One of the units we had was business studies, I had previously sat an A Level in business so I still had notes and books left over.
We didn't have the usual business teacher because she was signed off sick (Cancer I believe) so instead of getting a qualified teacher in, the department bought in a beauty salon manager. Knew nothing about teaching but thought she knew everything about business.
First class we have, she's doing the "Introduce yourself" thing, then she asks "Who in this class is a Leo?" I raise my hand and its only me .... "Oh because in my star signs I ALWAYS clash with Leos. Sorry". Ok so we have a crazy b*tch, the class is sat in a stunned silence as I simply say "Ok cool"
The time comes to write the assignment for the class and me being savvy I used my old business class notes and books and hand it in with the biggest smile on my face.
Results day. Everyone passes with high marks all except me. She has me up in front of my head tutor for "Plagiarism" and "She's clearly copied and pasted all of this from the internet" my head tutor explained that I "has sat a A-level in business so she should know what she's talking about"
My head tutor re-marked my paper and passed it with a high merit. I later told her about what was said, regarding the star signs and how I felt attacked due to some insignificant fact about my birth sign.
Next lesson she announces she's "Leaving due to my teaching methods being questioned and having a complaint" whilst glaring at me, the rest of the class was relieved.
31. Segregation And Racism
If they segregate students
I had an American history class where on the first day the teacher told everyone that no one was to sit in the furthest left row of seats.
Those seats were reserved for the what she called idiots. Idiots were people who arrived late for class.
My class before this ended five minutes before this class did and was on the other side of campus. I took the safe route and dropped the class.
This was before the school made it a rule that you had to have ten minutes between classes, and the professor was an adjunct professor.
On an unrelated note I had an English teacher at this same school that thought when someone had a number on the back window of their car, a number the dmv makes you put there due to some issue with your registration, it meant they were bad drivers and essentially on notice.
She thought this because she said she had only ever seen Asian drivers with them. The girl who explained what it actually meant knew because she had had one, and was also Asian.
That last teacher I know for a fact no longer works as a teacher.
30. Mental Health
I had some issues with my schedule and wasn't registered for a particular course on the first day of class, so I registered and attended on the second day.
He had already paired up the class into groups of 3-4 on day 1 for a project that would span the entire course and count for a large part of our grade.
When I asked if I could be joined into a smaller group he told me no, that I could do the work solo for the semester. I was peeved, but needed that course as a prerequisite for something I needed next semester so I silently fumed.
After week 2 I had "failed" two reports because he just didn't like what I wrote. Not that the reasoning, research, or writing was unsound- he just didn't like the subject so he gave me failing grades.
I dropped the class, took it with another teacher the next semester, and graduated a semester late because of it.
I don't regret it. He was a horrible teacher and I'm sure my mental health would have suffered if I had continued in his class.
"We'll be doing 3 group projects this semester. I will assign the group and it will be the same group for all 3 projects." NOPE.
28. Call A Doctor
I had a sociology class where during the introductory lecture the professor went on a tangent about how since she has a doctorate if she was ever on a plane and someone asked "is there a doctor on board" she would say she was a doctor.
If you didn't call her "Dr." she would ignore you. She stated that holding a doctorate in sociology should carry the same clout as being an MD.
No disrespect to sociologists or anyone with a PhD but those are not the same things. She went on other rants about how nobody has ever gotten a 4.0 in her class and she was proud of it.
It was the worst class I've ever taken. She was just an insecure nutcase with a PhD on a power trip. I barely passed. Oh and the course text was of course her own book.
Saw a course at my college called "Digital Media and American Culture." Sounds neat, I thought, I'll go to a lecture during the shopping period.
The professor is 10 minutes late, an 80-year-old man, who gets up and literally asks a student in the front to tell him how many Facebook friends she has and then "how many REAL friends do you have?!"
Was flabbergasted when he asked if anyone in the classroom had read "1984" and most of the class raised their hands. He was 100% convinced that millennials never pick up books anymore.
Christ. Was the class held on his lawn, and was he late because he had to yell at a cloud?
I once had a professor say "you get 2 absences this semester. More than 2 and you fail. It doesn't matter what the excuse is."
Sorry, with older relatives who were sick and dying... and not being a psychic myself to know whether or not I'd get sick or if I'd forget to set an alarm, or any number of unforeseeable things... that level of rigidity and unwillingness to compromise isn't worth it.
Had a class where we were allowed three absences. I got bronchitis and used them up about mid way through the semester but towards the end of the semester I got a concussion from passing out during an asthma attack and I wasn't allowed to look at screens, read, listen to music, draw, exercise (this included my 1.5mile walk to campus), or think too hard for a week and a half.
When I was able to go back to class, I brought him the paperwork from the hospital but he just told me to "read the syllabus" and wouldn't even look at my medical papers saying that i wasn't allowed to go to class.
My grade went from an A+ to a B-. And the thing was, it was a lecture hall with 200 students so it's not like there was any group participation or anything. And it was a 100 level class mostly for freshman.
26. I'll Stay In Bed Thanks
Professor was semi-retired. One of his conditions for coming out of full retirement was all his courses had to be done by 9AM so he could still enjoy his day.
No one passed his 7AM advanced calculus classes...
25. This is where the "office" part of office hours applies.
Doesn't speak clear English and doesn't hold office hours. (This is for a University in USA)
PS: Holding office hours but never being there doesn't help anyone. By appointment only... but having zero availability also doesn't help anyone.
24. Hey, you were warned.
I had a biology class with a professor who wore a fanny pack and had stains on his shirt. On the first day, he said that the class would require at least 4 hours of studying every day.
The professor also said that he didn't mind "crushing our dreams" and giving us an F. The class was full at the beginning and ended with 3 students.
Sounds like the only dreams that were crushed were his own.
Probably has tenure and only needed to grade 3 papers. They're living the dream.
Source: had 500 students last semester.
23. Success is lovely revenge.
I had an accounting professor tell us that there was no way you could get an A in her class with a full time course load and a part time job.
I remember being infuriated because I supported myself and had a full time job and a full time course load. I would have dropped it if it she wasn't the only prof that taught it.
I got an A and felt super smug. But I still have nightmares about that class.
22. Professor Potty Mouth, tenured at Trump University
In retrospect, if the instructor casually says dumb, inappropriate sh*t.
Look, I'm all for an environment in which instructors can have fun, relate to students, not just teach course material out of a textbook. Those teachers are awesome. When I say "inappropriate", I don't mean telling a few jokes here or there.
I mean: talking about his "dog-faced" ex-wife on the first day of class. Yup. Good chance the dude is a huge narcissist who will waste time patting himself on the back instead of teaching, and designing tests to purposely trick students just so he can feel clever about being right. (Only had this happen once, but the guy was the worst.)
or I mean: when a teacher tries to be too relatable, tries to sell him/herself outside of an educational context, and eventually sends you a Facebook message earlier asking if you want to come by his place later. For some drinks. When you're 18 years old. (Also happened to me!)
21. Test after test after test after test after test...
They hand out the syllabus and you see that the first 4 chapters are covered in week 1 with an exam scheduled for week 2. And then, upon further examination, you realize that this is a recurring theme for the next 15 weeks...NOPE!
20. More red flags than a golf course.
From one I just dropped:
-no exams, at all
- a ten page paper was worth 50% of the mark and the other 50% was from giving a presentation to the class
-there were two extremely expensive textbooks, which she told us at length about how hard they were to find and that the bookstore didn't have any (she said she called the publisher and even they didn't have any copies)
-the textbooks were required starting next week and the discussions would be based off of the textbook readings (the fastest shipping would still take at LEAST two weeks to get the books there!!)
-she was very condescending and rude
-said that if we didn't have prior background into <subject> it would be an extremely steep learning curve (but there wasn't a prereq for the class in <subject>)
19. I bet she says, "Eebeetha."
"You'll have to forgive me if I don't understand your American sentiments, as an international, I'm unfamiliar with your culture."
Stated by a woman who lived in America till the age of twelve. She thought she was the most intelligent person because she'd been able to live abroad. Worst professor I've had.
Linux class: I'm a hired consultant and I've never used Linux before. Thanks ITT Tech, please discharge my fraudulent student loan debt now.
17. There's an app for that.
"You should learn how to do everything long hand" The exact quote from my Grad School finance professor. Yup- time value of money calculations without a calculator....
I get the thought that you should know the mechanics, but let's be honest if your accountant started doing math with pencil and paper you would run. Dropped that class after bombing the first test. Took it again the next semester and the first day the he passed out the cheat sheets for every brand of calculator made. Solid A- that time
I had a teacher that I loved but everyone hated.
My economics teacher was an absolute madman.
first day of econ-
Madman- " FIRST RULE!.. ANY AND ALL CELLPHONES ARE TO REMAIN OFF!. IF I SEE YOU USING THEM, I WILL THROW THEM OUT THE DOOR!"
madman looks at class.. grabs cellphone and throws it out the door
Madman- " didn't need to talk to my wife anyway! "
15. Just a little nuts.
I had a counseling professor (of all people) try to assert that there is no way of knowing that mental illnesses are real, so we shouldn't have to treat them as such.
That's absolutely absurd, so I asked him his opinion on the use of brain scans to show trends in the brain function of people with a mental illness (depression, adhd, schizophrenia, etc) in comparison to healthy brains. He didn't have one.
So I dropped that class and ran. Took it again at the same school with a different professor, and he basically admitted that the other guy was a little nuts
14. I've made a huge mistake.
first week of class has homework that takes 10 hours to do
Professor: "The assignment last time was simple to get you up and running. We'll have longer ones starting this week"
"You should take this teacher, if you just show up for the final he will give you a passing grade."
Fresh out of HS me thought that this sounded great. First day of class, 45 chairs in the class are all full and there are people lining the wall to get in.
Fast forward to the final, me and maybe 10 other people attend. I pass the class, even though the teacher was awful. This was precalculus.
I show up to Calculus the next semester. First class, "We'll review the stuff you'll need to know from your pre-cal class to succeed in this class. Here's a practice worksheet."
I couldn't do a single problem, I had not learned a thing from my precal class and knew that I would have to retake it. In the long haul it pushed me from my science major to a liberal arts major. Would not recommend.
12. A D! You did it!
In an English class for the 12th grade, I was handed back an essay and with it a mark of 64% (hard teacher but I'm not the best at English) with this mark was a comment that read "Excellent Work!". That's when I knew, this b!tch was Lucifer.
In a similar vein, once received an exam back with 53% and the note "Great job! You're starting to understand the subject matter!"
To be fair, I came into the class not speaking the language so was learning chemistry and German at the same time.
11. When you have to buy *their* books.
A red flag that the teacher has a really bad ego problem is if they require you buy their books. Especially if they ONLY recommend books they've written.
Yes, you are the ONLY person who has ever written about James Baldwin. No one else has anything remotely worth adding to the conversation. Also, using your students as a means of increasing your sell numbers/making more money is a sh*tty, egotistical thing to do.
10. How cunning linguists are made.
So my senior year I took this Intro to Applied Linguistics class. I had learned a couple languages by that point, it was my last semester of school, and it was my only real class - I was writing a thesis and taking a directed readings.
I was taking this class as an elective having already finished my major simply to keep me at enough credits to stay on campus. Nonetheless, it was something I was really interested in, and was excited for.
The first day I and about 25 other students show up and the professor walks in with what must have been a 20 page syllabus. An unbelievable amount of reading, assignments every week, group projects, online blogs, you name it.
We spend the first session just going through the syllabus, maybe make it halfway. It was bordering on unreasonable, potentially impossible, but I'm stubborn and I had very little else on my plate that semester and I figured why not stick it out. Might actually learn something.
First class was on Thursday, next meeting was on Tuesday. When I walk in all of a sudden the class was only about 12 people - more than half of the other students had dropped.
The professor walks in, smiles, and says "Good! It worked! Now I know that you all actually give a sh!t. Take out your syllabi, we have some trimming to do."
Spent the next 20 minutes crossing things off, changing dates and literally ripping entire pages out of the syllabus. It was glorious.
That class ended up being one of those rare classes that was easy as hell, yet intellectually challenging and enjoyable all at the same time. As far as I'm concerned, that prof is a genius.
I have gotten my entire degree taking online classes from the University of Houston and their are two things that scream "drop this class."
- You are required to log on to blackboard at least 3 days a week. — I didn't register for an online class because I've got ample hours in my day to log on and do school work I take online classes because I have the ability to successfully compete weeks worth of work in 1 day.
- You are required to use lockdown browser for exams and have your webcam on and you must give me a tour of the entire room with the camera and the volume must be on and it must be during normal working hours. — nah no one invades my privacy and my normal working hours are 11am to 9pm not much I can do about taking an exam before 5pm.
"If you arrive late then you're absent"
This is also isn't reflective of how the real world works. If you're at your job and you're five minutes late for a meeting, you can't just blow it off entirely. You have to go in, own up to your lateness like an adult, and try to catch up.
This is also isn't reflective of how the real world works.
That's all of college.
7. Sure, seems fair.
Let me tell ya'll a story from second year university. I had a course that started in second semester, and due to weather the first class had to be cancelled.
Okay, that's unfortunate, but obviously not the teacher's fault. She sends out a class wide email saying "here are the slides I would have shown today, can you all please read through them in preparation for tomorrow?" Okay, seems reasonable enough, I can understand that.
But then I'm reading through those slides I found this, which I'm going to quote to the best of my memory:
"If the class misbehaves the homework assignments will get longer and more difficult, and the final exam will get more difficult."
Excuse me? I have literally never met you and you're already threatening me? What the f---? So yeah, to answer your question: that.
I had a French professor who said to me, "you're not on the streets anymore" because I was the only Black person in the class.
5. Chemistry is the Devil's magic.
I was taking a general chemistry class and a fellow student asked a pretty great question. I had the same question but I can't remember exactly what it was.
Our professor, who by the way was a very nice and brilliant man, answered it with "You should have learned that in your physics class" and then continued on with the lecture.
I didn't need to take physics for my major... The next class session was our first exam and that specific question was on the exam, class average was 44%. I dropped the class the next day.
I once had a teacher tell us we should've learned something already from the class that the class we were currently in was a prereq for.
4. A term paper in physics...
I took a physics class when I was in college. Day one, I am paging through the syllabus (which was like 5 pages long by the way) and I see that there's a 5 page paper due later that week.
I asked the professor if that was a mistake. He said it was not. I dropped the class that afternoon.
Edit: This post is getting a lot of attention so I will address what seems to be a common theme in replies I am getting. I agree that a five page paper is not a large amount of work.
The red flag was more about the fact that there was a term paper assigned for a hard science like physics. I did not need the class to graduate, I only took it because I was interested in it. So I decided it was probably not the right fit for me.
3. Can't block bad vibes.
When he pulls a cell signal blocker from his briefcase on the first day of class. Yes this actually happened to me. Half way through the semester he went on a 3 week vacation and we had a stand in prof.
Learned more from the stand-in prof then the actual prof.
When the prof says "you guys will not need to learn X" and proceed to skip some important topic. I was getting a business degree majoring in IT.
We had a programming class and our professor said "you guys arent comp science majors you wont need to know this". He proceeded to skip constructors in a java course.
Aren't cell signal blockers illegal because they can stop a 911 call from going through? Unless you're not in the US, then I dunno.
Yeah. Operating a jammer is a felony.
2. Your debt hard at work.
I had a teacher that was consistently late for every single class. It wasn't 5 minutes late, it was more like 30-45 minutes late every time. When students wanted to complain about her tardiness to the department, she would respond with, "Go ahead. I have tenure anyways. It won't do a thing."
1. Never again.
A group project worth a substantial amount of your grade.
F*ck group projects.
Two years in and I've only had one group project, which is even more difficult in an online degree program. Everyone was great except one guy, kept arguing about the topic (which he joined the group based on the topic) elected himself group leader, kept asking everyone to get their sh*t done, didn't even contribute to the final piece of the project. F*ck you Maurice!
There comes a time in our lives when we have to cut people out because of their toxic, negative, or destructive behavior. And there's no shame in doing it - tolerance and acceptance can only go so far, and there is always a last straw.
The785 asked: What was the incident that made you cut somebody close out of your life?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.