Does your college professor remind you of Satan? Are they always not on-board with your theories? Congratulations, buddy, your so-called “mentor” sucks!

If you, as a new college student, believe that the quality of education somewhat depends upon the courses you’ve chosen – you are dead wrong. Your motivator, aka, your professor, plays a crucial role in it as well. As much as you’d like to give out roses, cards, presents, and chocolates on Teacher’s Day, there’s always that one specific teacher that makes you want to hide away or walk with your head down. Or boil in anger!

Sure, everybody has bad days, but if you’re treating your students like crap daily, what are you even suitable for?  A bad teacher is like a terrible disease that everyone is going to catch once they attend college. You can’t even speak up because there’s a chance they’ll throw you out of class!

Unfortunately, we all experience them. And while you can often catch one coming from a mile away. But spotting an awful teacher isn’t as easy as you think. Therefore, we’ve created a handy-dandy list of things that’ll help you identify a horrible professor when you see one. Be on your guard!

Let the judging begin!


  • They play favorites

You’ve probably seen this before. You are waiting to speak to your professor during their office hours, and that football jockey who never shows up to class just received the help you needed. In their defense, most of these guys have mastered the art of persuasion during finals week. 

A good professor makes room for everyone, and if yours can’t balance their time to guide everyone, they probably are everything but good.


  • A bummed out professor

If a professor starts yapping about how much they hate teaching a course or how they would be better off at some other college, do not expect things to get any better. 

Rule of thumb: a bummed-out teacher will never improve; things will only worsen as the course progresses. Furthermore, if watching your instructor lose their cool while teaching brings out a passion for not-being like them in the future, dipping your hands in a few liberal studies careers will help build your personality from scratch – for the teaching world, of course!


  • You have no IDEA of what the professor is saying

Apparently, in the United States, speaking English is not necessarily a requirement for teaching at the university level. At least it seems that way sometimes! And this is particularly true for math and science-based classes. Indeed, that makes things more challenging than they already are, with a dash of a terrible professor. 

Just because your mentor knows their subject of expertise does not mean they are talented at imparting knowledge. Shockingly, most professors may have no formal experience in teaching at all!

And let’s be honest: if you have to spend most of your time deciphering whatever the hell they’re saying, then, you guessed it, your teacher needs to take charisma class before actually joining a teaching career!


  • No course-related handouts

This one really is a killer!

Handing out a list of topics to cover during the semester is never enough, especially at the college level. Teachers who do not provide a detailed course material have no idea how to get through the semester. Isn’t that a deal breaker!


  • Keeping petty rules

Ever had a teacher who docked you an unreasonable amount of points for minor oversights or errors? Please don’t take that on yourself, because they are usually reimbursing for a weakness in their teaching ability!

They believe that by minoring in the majors, they will have high standards or appear as strict mentors. Neither of these concepts is further from the truth. In reality, they establish an artificial premise by teaching you the things that aren’t included in your curriculum. That not only sucks but will also get you in trouble during finals week.


  • So boring!

It doesn’t take much to pick a subject and excel in it. But far fewer can adequately teach it to another person. If your teacher seems like they know their stuff, but they often make you zone, or you’d rather watch paint dry than spend another minute in their class, it is a sign they are a lousy teacher. 

How does a teacher even become boring? By being biased and using old-style teaching techniques. Perhaps that means they:

  • Give you a butt-load of class assignments and always keep you occupied
  • Lecture a lot
  • Spend most of the class time by making the students read like kids in elementary school

However, none of these teaching methods is bad in moderation. In fact, they are necessary. But when it is all the teacher ever does, he/she is gradually turning into a sloth. 


  • They lack clarity

When teaching, clarity is the most crucial aspect. That means your professor should do everything in their will to ensure everything is crystal clear from the beginning of class. 

They should provide an instructional routine that is easy to follow. Their expectations should be evident to everyone. And they must prepare you ahead of time with a list of all the resources you will need to do well on assignments and assessments. 

On the flip, if you find yourself and others asking, “when did we get homework?” – flag on the play! That means your professor isn’t as good as they presented themselves in their job interview. A thumbs down!


  • Their notes come directly from the textbook

A little heads-up; college doesn’t work that way!

Here is a titbit for the future: if you want to learn how to become a teacher, never teach from publisher slides because that’s where the rotten stuff lives.

Professors who teach directly from the slides have a special place in hell. Being a professional mentor comes with a commitment to enhancing your curriculum and teaching techniques, not just recite the exact words year after year. Your department must access the study materials supposed to function as a helping-hand for teachers to build upon, NOT as the only teaching source. 


Final thought

Indeed, having a horrible teacher destroys not only your grades, but also your self-esteem and future career prospects. Students can’t idly sit by and watch their future drown in a river of hopelessness; stand up, report them! 

The bottom line is, no one should have to learn from a terrible teacher. Take actual steps to get the schooling you deserve! It is your turn to shine. Therefore, if you ever notice any one of the signs mentioned above in your teacher, it’s time for them to go!