Mel Rising Dawn Cordeiro
News flash: you are not the only person who is stressed out. It is the end of the school year, a time when graduates are scrambling to get their ducks in a row, others are finishing classes, worrying about finals and signing up for fall classes. On top of personal life stressors, this time of year can be a heavy burden to shoulder.
Stress can cause people to become more introverted, meaning that they remain in their own little world with less recognition of what is going on around them and how others are feeling. Some people may develop a sense of urgency, yet others may develop a sense of frustration.
The attitude of frustration will not get anyone anywhere in life. That’s not to say that frustration is not warranted in the moment, but an overall attitude of frustration is not beneficial. Adaptation is key.
Included in the “stressed out” category are our professors. They are scrambling to correct assignments, advise our continuing students, teach and generally help their students. Professors may have to change the way they teach a class for the day, or for whatever reason may end up needing to cancel classes. This is okay, as professors are people, too. They also have lives outside of the classroom.
I have noticed that a lot of my professors have taken unnecessary “hits” from my classmates recently. Though this is coming mostly from the freshmen in my major, it is inexcusable. Professors are being talked about behind their backs, in front of other professors, who, I would like to point out, are their peers, and are being called “money wasters” for needing to cancel classes.
I can understand the frustration of my classmates at having a class or two canceled. We are not owed reasoning as to why professors are doing what they need to do, but our professors are owed consideration. My peers have access to our professors via email, as well as access to mentors and each other for help. There is no reason to be frustrated and there certainly is no reason to threaten to “complain like hell” during the professor’s evaluation.
Acting entitled because a professor is “wasting money” for canceling a few classes, comes to class a few minutes late or is seemingly unprepared is no excuse to not give a professor the courtesy they deserve. Professors will find out if they are being talked about, whether they overhear something or are told by their peers. Place yourself in their shoes for a moment and imagine what it must be like to be told people are talking about you behind your back, or to discover that there is a clear disdain for you. It’s not a nice feeling, is it?
In my time at RIC, I have never witnessed a professor unwilling to help. The professors in my major have bent over backwards to make sure we succeed and I know they will continue to do so. Every professor I have had the opportunity to learn from has been more than willing to change due dates, spend extra time with students and will even take the time to check in.
Our professors are people, too. Let’s treat them like they are.