How to Pick ’em

For freshman Jiovanni Nadal – studying fine arts – not researching his professors proved to be a bad idea.

He got lost on his first day of classes and was marked absent by his professor after being five minutes late. He was sentenced to boredom for the rest of the summer with the teacher’s monotone voice, and doomed to listen to the professor’s choice of music every time he checked his inbox.

“He would send us a song in our e-mails titled ‘song of the week,'” says Nadal. “It would be random stuff too, like Van Halen. He was so weird.”

Obnoxious, boring, sarcastic, and even a little cuckoo: FAU’s got all kind of teachers. Here are three tips on how to avoid the kind of teacher that will give you headaches.

RateMyProfessor

RateMyProfessor.com is a Web site for students to rate their teachers after they’ve taken those classes. You are not guaranteed to find all teachers, but most of them are there. Here, not only will you be able to rate them, but also to comment on their classes and even classify them as certified hotties – or not.

Be careful, though: RateMyProfessor.com is based on students’ opinions toward a class. It’s never wise to completely rely on a random person’s advice there. There might be a few students who are still pissed off that they got a ‘D’ in the class who write horrible reviews.

Socialize

By socializing, I don’t mean taking a couple of shots and playing beer pong (save that for after class). Instead, talk to other students – older students – who have taken the class that you’re taking and ask them about the professor. Most of the time, they’ll be able to recommend a good teacher or save you from a horrible class by warning you about the teacher they had.

One-Week Trial

One good thing about college is that if you don’t like the class or the professor that you pick, you can always switch to another class during that first week of the semester.

Elizabeth Gosein-Vasquez, a pre-med sophomore, says that switching her algebra class her first semester of school, because of the teacher, was one of the best things she could have done.

“I didn’t like the way [the teacher] spoke to us. I felt like I was in an elementary class,” says Gosein-Vasquez. “So I went to MyFAU and looked up other teachers that were teaching the class and talked to some of my other friends as well and switched classes the next day. I ended up getting a ‘B’, instead of what could have been a ‘C’ or worse.”