So you’ve finally started college. You’re living on your own buying, your own food, going to lectures and workshops, it’s all going great…and then your professor finds their perfect prey for the year. Which just so happens to be you. What a way to spoil your first experience of uni. It feels like the end of the world, but they probably don’t even realise they’re doing it, so here’s Why You Shouldn’t Take It Personally If Your Professor Is Picking On You.
1. They Probably Don’t Know They’re Doing It
Now I know what you’re thinking: they’re a teacher at degree level, they’re obviously smart enough to know what they’re doing. But here’s the thing. They teach so many different classes a day that picking you out to answer a question – whether you get it wrong or right – is programmed into their daily tasks. It’s not that they see you looking confused, or day dreaming because the lecture is boring and think ‘I’ll prey on that poor soul in the back’, they’ve just seen you looking confused and what to grasp if you’re understanding their teachings. So don’t take it personally, it’s not you, it’s them.
2. They Want To Challenge You
Before the term even starts, the professors you’ll be having for the year have already seen what your predicted to get for each unit of the course. If you’re predicted a higher grade, your professor will probably want to know if you’re keeping up to scratch with the grade that your supposedly going to get, which means picking on your to answer questions in class. They just want to make sure that you’re understanding everything and sometimes the best way to do that is to catch you off guard – which to many of us, feels like we’re being picked on. Don’t spend too much time overthinking it, they just want to make sure you’re on target.
3. You’re Probably One Of Their Favourite Students
The majority of the time if your professor starts to pick you out to answer a question, solve an issue or speak your opinion in class, it’s usually because you’re one of their favourite students. Maybe you handed in a great paper, or you always turn up to their class, or they think you have clever responses to discussions either way, you’ll have become a favourite of theirs and all she or he wants, is to here your ideas and see you progress further. It’s their way of pushing you to do better, to see if you are the top student, so don’t worry. They pick on your because you’re brilliant.
4. You Sat In The Chair
Yes, it sounds stupid. But a professor told me in my final year that for most of his classes, there was a chair in the back of the room that because the “selection chair” and he would pick the students who sat in that chair to answer the questions. It sounds ridiculous, but sitting in the chair gave him a chance to understand each student and they level of understanding when it came to his teaching in each lecture. It also proved a good way of learning each student’s name. He also explained that he saw so many students per day that he would pick a seat in the room and ask a question to that seat because it’s easier than searching a big lecture hall for someone who actually wants to answer the question – which often doesn’t happen. So don’t worry, it’s the seats fault not yours.
5. They’re In A Bad Mood
Professors get annoyed as well. Imagine trying to teach between 50 and 100 students everyday, as well as having to ask them to stop talking, having to explain yourself two or three times and then having to go home and do a hell of a lot of marking on the topic which they probably hate just as much as you. On top of that, they have the same amount of annoyances we do daily – traffic jams, late trains, early mornings, you name it they’re going through it too. They’re human and sometimes what comes across as picking on you, is just a severe bad mood. So give them some credit, lifes annoyances get to everyone, sometimes even your professor.