Chico State students can feel intimidated by faculty


Photo credit: Jaime Munoz

Have you ever heard of the phrase you must respect your elders? Growing up, this is the common ideology most young adults learn. Young students often have to give their elders respect even when this respect isn’t reciprocated. Sometimes students feel embarrassed about their work in front of their professors or elders. It’s natural to go through these self-growth moments in college but we also need our teachers to help us prepare for the “real world” by providing us respectful learning environments.

While I agree that we are in the process of preparing for the real world, I would argue that some professors prevent or restrain students from accessing opportunities to improve on our mistakes. How are we suppose to learn from our mistakes, if our teachers aren’t clear and respectful. Professors are here to teach us how to share their knowledge and help avoid conflicts we may encounter, right? So why do I continually hear voices around campus that say they feel they were treated unfairly by their professors.

Sometimes students are told their work isn’t good enough, but they aren’t given clear enough guidelines on how to improve their work or they’re not given the chance to make corrections themselves. It seems that in many cases, the students who want to improve their work don’t always have the opportunity to do so or don’t even have the chance to speak out to explain our work.

We all have one, that one rude professor, the unfair grader or the bad explainer. There are even a few that may come off being very disrespectful or even ageist toward their students. Of course, as adults who have experienced college and some real-world jobs, students sometimes can falsely believe they are always right. However, they seem to forget we are not in a real-life job setting, we are only preparing for it. So there’s a balance here and not one side is totally right or wrong. When professors simply say they know because they have years of more experience that’s not ok. We all need justified, explained reasons for our decisions regardless if we are young or old.

Sometimes it feels like professors are against us and even when they think they’re trying to help, it can come off as disrespectful. I am getting tired of feeling belittled and disrespected as a college student. Just because I am young, doesn’t mean I’m dumb. As a student, I would appreciate learning how to improve on skills I may have failed in so that they don’t repeat themselves in the future.

After all, we are humans and without making mistakes we can’t learn how to succeed. As John Dewey once said, “Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.” I may not speak for all, but I’m sure most of us want as many opportunities to succeed as possible. I just hope our teachers help us provide these opportunities rather than stand in our ways.

Karen Limones can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.