Tag Archives: teachers

Professor Beware

Having a good professor can make or break a class. There are certainly a range here at FIT, as anywhere else. I have found most of my professors as extremely helpful, knowledgeable, and interesting. I will admit to checking sites like ratemyprofessor.com as soon as teachers were announced, and I’m sure you will too.

However, you have to be careful with websites like this. First of all, ratings are not necessarily the best indicator of what a teacher will really be like. Many times people just use rating sites to complain when they did not get along with a professor, or feel like they were not being treated fairly whether it is true or not. Hopefully the teacher will have many reviews and you can judge for yourself if they seem reliable.

I think feedback for the professors and the school is a great tool if said feedback is honest and sincere, and I encourage students to rate their teachers (fairly, of course). I just went back and rated every teacher I had for my bachelors degree. That being said, these comments are not guarantees and I have often found my experience with a teacher to be completely opposite of what most people wrote, for better or worse.

Do you use ratemyprofessor.com or other sites like it? What experiences have you had with them?

–Emily–

Notes From the 6 Train: Rockin’ Out With Recommendations

So, It’s that time of the year. Recommendation time that is.
(yay) I am always applying for a bunch of stuff. And am always in need of good recommendations. Here’s a few tips I’ve picked up along the way:

Like Brendan mentioned in his last post, begin building relationships with your teachers. This also means do well in class. This doesn’t mean that you have to get 100’s on every assignment, but stay engaged in class and try. This will encourage the professor to not just write the letter for you, but will do it happily because they want you to be successful.

-That leads me to my next point, ask someone who will actually write nicely about you, the professor of the class that you feel asleep in a few times? Probably not the best person to ask.

-Be sure to ask with enough time, don’t do it 2 days before the letter is needed.

-Do the work for them. Send them the info and your resume so that information to pull from. they are doing you a favor, don’t make it more labor intensive for them then it has to be.

-Sometimes you have to do some ground work. For a scholarship I just applied for I had to literally track down my teacher and wait by the door for one of her classes to finish to get her signature (she sent the recommendations via email but they weren’t considered valid without her signature)

-Know that who you chose to get the recommendation whether it’s a professor, faculty member or former boss, may change depending on the position or type of recommendation you need.

-Finally, be sure to thank them. Once again, they’re doing you a favor and professors are busy just like everyone else, so appreciate that they’ve taken their time to help you out.

Here’s a catchy tune to help you remember:

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.

Notes From The 6 Train: Connecting with Your Teachers

This past week I got to spend time with two of my old teachers. (Yay!) They were visiting from Atlanta to participate in the Bell Hook’s Scholar- In- Residence activities. Bell Hooks is an important figure in the feminist world. She’s written a number of consciousness shifting books after the intersection of blackness & feminism & patriarchy. She cowrote “Breaking Bread: Insurgent Black Intellectual Life” with Dr. Cornel West,who also partook in the dialogue the other day. If you aren’t familiar with their work, you should look them up.

Anyways, this isn’t about Bell Hooks or Cornel West (though they’re both incredibly insightful), but about the impact of having amazing teachers. Martha, (at my school we called our teachers by their first name) was my 7th & 8th grade teacher. She encouraged us to employ our critical thinking skills and created a class culture dedicated to us becoming leaders. Our class was governed by a class government, which as middle schoolers, made us feel powerful beyond belief. We even were able to travel to Washington, DC to lobby our state representative to not participate in the Iraq war.

1917511_196335580038_4721220_n (Look at me in the back with the sassy hair flip. I appreciate all the teachers who helped me refine this sass into passion.)

Oman, another teacher at my school, was never officially my teacher, but was so inviting and open that I would hang out in his room throughout high school. He’s an anti- racism and anti-patriarchy activist, who facilitated classroom discussions about just that. Both Martha and Oman would later team up and have a business to create change, becoming diversity consultants, for teachers.

1923900_21554310038_4749_n (My assistant principal and I.)

Besides these two teachers, I have been extremely lucky to have a number of other influential and important teachers, faculty and other mentors. Since my school spanned from kindergarten to high school, I’ve had constant people throughout majority of my life. Many of whom have offered their support for years and have helped in various ways, ranging from visiting their art studios to gain inspiration, to supporting me on a scholarship committee to secure funding to go abroad.

I’m a firm believer that you put out what you take in. If you make sure that the people you surround yourself with are all driven and are reaching towards smilier goals, then your entire team will be stronger for it.

558237_1425292774363778_1305321946_n (One of my fav. faculty members from high school on Halloween. She’s obviously full of laughter! I need to get some photos with some FIT teachers & staff. Photo evidence that its gets better.)

Talk to your teachers. Invite them out to coffee. Ask them questions. They want to help you, that’s why they’re teachers. Of course, not all professors will be as open as others, but if you connect with a particular teacher keep in contact. Their wealth of knowledge extends far beyond the pages of a textbook or the walls of classroom. Who knows, maybe the will be the one to help land your dream job or internship, or, at the very least, offer to past for your dinner whenever you go to visit (after you complete their class of course, you gotta work for that free meal)!

All things Color, Love, & Fashion,
Ayanna L.