10 Ways to Deal with a Difficult Professor or Teacher

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We all will need to read this article some time or the other in our educational career because some time in life all of us have to face a difficult, rather mad professor. It may happen in school or college that you end up in a class with a real difficult professor, or maybe if he or she is not that difficult, you may still have found a place in his bad books. It gets even worse when you are not good at his subject as he or she gets even more opportunities to insult you in front of your peers.

This may frustrate you a lot, especially if you are not among the notorious ones. Taking a decision on what should you do next becomes really difficult in these circumstances. Whether you should remain silent about it or you should fight against it is usually the dilemma faced. Some of you might want to take the middle path and find an intelligent way to deal with it. Some of you might even feel it’s better to drop the class. There are a variety of options in such a situation and it all depends on your attitude and will. Given below are few tips which can be useful to you in such a situation:

10. Be punctual and attend your classes:


To avoid any unnecessary brushes with your professor, one easy advice you can follow is being punctual. All teachers like punctual students. Being punctual can land a good impression over your teacher and it’s a good habit to cultivate nevertheless. So just try to be at your class early and also return in time after the breaks. You should stay in the class for the entire period to let your professor know that you are interested. Also, keep a watch on your attendance and do not miss your classes unless it is very essential.

9. Your attitude matters:

think, do, be positive

As I mentioned above, your way of dealing with the situation is all a matter of your attitude. Your attitude may be positive or negative. If it is positive, you will try to mend the wrong things by taking initiatives, whereas if it is negative you might not even care about the whole thing. So just get your attitude right first. Believe in the very fact that it is your education which you ought to have and you would not let a bad professor ruin it. This way you won’t give up and will take steps to correct the scenario. Your attitude should lead you to a compromise or a win situation, if it is positive.

8. Listen in the class:


Now this is something really important whether you have a bad professor or a good one. Listen to your professor carefully in the class. This will not only add up to your knowledge bank but also help your professor realize that you are a keen student. When you listen in the class, you will not fall out at the guidelines of your professor in relation with academics, home work or general class behavior. Not listening in the class because your professor is mad or difficult will make the class more intolerable for you. Moreover if your professor, who is already upset with you, finds you lost, s/he may not spare you your share of insult and taunts.

7. Don’t fall back on assignments:


So, this is one of the best ways to impress your professor. Do your home work and assignments in time. Nothing will irritate your professor more than the fact that you did not care to do the work they assigned you. For this, firstly you need to listen well in class, so that you do not miss on the work s/he assigns. Next, you have to work hard and complete the assignment in the correct manner as per the guidelines of your professor. And last, make sure you submit it on time. Even if you do your home work in time but get late in submission, your professor may assume that you completed it in the last moment.

6. Ask the right questions:

ask right questions

If you are listening in the class and you have doubts, then feel free to ask them from your professor, however mean they are. There are professors who actually feel their ego boosted when a student asks them a question and they answer it in the most appropriate manner according to them. Also, there are a few queries every professor likes to address, like “ Can you help me with this topic?”, “Where do you think I’m going wrong?”, “ How can I master this subject?”, “Can I ask doubts when you have a free period?” etc. Get noticed for your seriousness in eyes of your professor. This will help you deal with him/her better.

5. Talk to your academic advisors:

Academic Advising

If none of the above is working and your grades are getting affected because of your bad relationship with the professor, then it’s time to seek help or advice. Contact your academic advisors and discuss your problem with them. You can also seek help from your seniors, who have dealt with the difficult professor of yours successfully. If you cannot understand the subject, you may consult other teachers teaching the same subject for help.

4. Eat a humble pie:

eat a humble pie

Don’t just put the blame of being lost and suffering at grades on your professor. Whenever you get a chance to tell your professor why you are suffering, be polite. Eat a humble pie and firstly recognize your own faults in front of your professor and then ask for help.  Don’t rudely say “All this happened coz you’re a bad teacher” even if he/she deserves to be called a bad teacher. Being humble is the key to avoid any further friction between you and them. If possible you may also highlight some positive that you see in your professor, despite the heavy sided negative pile of things.

3. Don’t tease or argue:

do not argue

Now, this is very, very important. Many of you might face a situation when you are one on one with your professor and engaged in an argument. This situation is the worst you can ever invite. DO NOT get into an argument with your teacher, how so ever correct you are. No professor likes or appreciates a verbal fight. You are in for low marks and maybe a complaint against you to the Director, if you do so. Even if your professor is in a bad mood and is insulting you for no reason, keep your calm and dignity. Staying silent will help, even if inside you are experiencing blood rushes.

2. Talk to your professor:


Communication solves all problems if done correctly and intelligently. This tip would seem very difficult or meaningless to you when you have a bad professor. But trust me, it is worth trying.  Taking the initiative to talk calmly with your professor gives an idea of you being willing to mend your ways (even if you’re not) on the first hand. Next, if you are humble and polite, plus intelligent, you can use your conversation craftily to deal with the problem effectively. Choose the right time to talk to your professor, not when he’s in the hallway, or at lunch or after he had a hectic class. The right time would be when he has a couple of free periods and is free, not disturbed by others.

1. Identify their personality type and deal accordingly:

personality type

Analysis is perhaps the most important thing when you deal with anything, even a mad professor. You ought to know their personality type if you want to tackle their bad ways. There are various types of professors, the theoretician, the youngster, the lazy, the brainiac and the hater. Once you identify your professor’s personality, you can make strategies to deal accordingly. For example you can talk of student matters to the youngster, you should not expect the lazy to give you time after class, the theoretician can be impressed if you mug up a few facts and figures, and likewise.

So just follow these simple tips, maybe they help you to win the heart of your cruel professor and you thank me for this article.


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