Editorial | Teachers need to step it up before finals
May 3, 2018
Finals season always comes with a multitude of stressors added to every student’s plate. To make it easier on students during this very hectic time, The Daily Illini Editorial Board is asking that teachers take better responsibility by keeping students updated on their grades and final assignments.
It is a professor’s job to teach students to the best of their abilities and to keep them updated on where their students stand in relation to how much they’ve mastered the course material.
Professors should never allow students to go into a final exam or to turn in a final assignment without knowing where they stand in the class beforehand. It’s not fair to the student if they have to estimate their course grade with no guidelines.
To solve this recurring issue, professors should keep to the school-mandated policy: professors should be sure to return the first midterm of the semester before the drop deadline and students should be made aware of their final exam grades 72 hours after it has been taken.
Likewise, students should always receive their final assignment rubric or study guide an acceptable amount of time before its deadline. A professor should never let a student know what is expected in a major assignment or exam, worth a significant portion of their final grade, less than two weeks before it is due. Professors have 16 weeks to plan this all out, so there should be no excuse.
Sometimes it seems like professors treat their coursework like it’s the only thing students have going on in their life. Students likely have four to six other assignments and final exams, and professors should understand their class is not the only one that matters. Many students also have outside commitments like work, internships, research and other extracurriculars.
We understand professors have stressors in their lives as well. We know you’re maybe writing a book or conducting outside research. We also recognize the impressive work some professors are doing. We applaud that you update our grades in a timely manner, post an assignment at least two weeks before it’s due and treat us like we actually have lives outside of your classroom.
Mainly, we want you to understand that we came here to learn, so you need to teach. It’s completely unacceptable that it’s May 3 and some students have assignments due in a little over a week with no basis of where their grades stand.
This is not a plea to assign us less work. We are happy to do the work required in proportion to the credit hours assigned to the course; we just need our professors to keep us up-to-date so we can stay focused on the course material and not stress about whether we’re tanking our GPA.
Most professors are paid with tuition money that students and their families are working tirelessly to afford. The very least some of them can do is step up their game and be a professor first.
To the professors who strive to be amazing at balancing all of this in their lives, we thank you and ask you to be role models for other professors who do not reach the standard we expect as paying students.