Pretty much everything gets a review these days. It’s not just restaurants and movies anymore, but things like hospitals, pretty much every single product on the market, and of course your own performance at work. We all are under scrutiny like never before.
Naturally, professors are not exempt from this. Under pressure to deliver not only practical knowledge to be used to pass courses and kick start careers, professors are rated on their ‘hotness’ and ability to deliver classes with charm, wit and entertainment. Failure to do so risks a scathing anonymous review on the review site ‘Rate My Professors.'
Of course, there is plenty of mischief at play on the site and most professors do not take such trivialities seriously. Or do they? While few would admit to it, who wouldn’t have a peek at what others had to say about them? Its human nature, particular for the naturally curious as most academics must surely be. Even I have a look below the line every now and then to check out what you guys are saying about my appalling grammar!
This professor decided to turn the tables and deal with his criticisms in the best possible way, with humour and grace. With so many keyboard warriors out there lashing out anonymously because their exaggerated demands weren’t met, this guy has found the blueprint for dealing with the mean things people say about you online and it has inspired others to tell their own review stories.
Scroll down below to check out what memories this has brought up to other readers on reddit, and feel free to add your own comments in the comment section. And if you wanna be mean then go ahead, I’m not going to read them!
"Instructor Needs Desperately to Reduce Caffeine Intake.
Goes off on Tangents, Talks Really Fast, Then Loses Me.
Should Not Be Allowed to Reproduce Let Alone Teach.
Given his eerily calm and cool nature, I often feared that he would pull out an AK-47 and mow down students who frustrated him. He definitely acts like I imagine a serial killer would. If nothing else, I'm motivated to do well just to keep from pissing him off."
My biology professor once read his evaluation surveys in front of the class. His top choice was "He is so great, I would dust my Belgian waffles with his dandruff"
I had a professor like this in college -- physics; he was from Boston, had a bit of an accent, irish heritage, funny with a pretty good sense of humor.
He starts our first class with a stack of reviews like this, they're ordered from good to bad. He reads the first few, pretty positive, several sentences each; he gets a bit bored of those, so he flips the stack over and reads the very last one. It only says:
"You s*ck, I hope you die."
Everyone gets a good laugh, including him. This is in like 1998 or so, so after everyone settles down, he says:
"To whoever that is, if you're in the class, I just want to assure you, that sometime in the middle of the next century, I will definitely die."
Still one of my favorite in-class memories.
I'm a trainer at my work. I had one person submit anonymous feedback on me and it said "I'm not sure if he's killed anyone, but I wouldn't be surprised if he did". Which I thought was funny as hell. I printed it and put in a frame that hangs in my office. Sometimes I get questioned about it and I'll always share what it is. I know who posted the feedback due to his writing and humor. When they ask how I'm doing I always reply with "I haven't murdered anyone today....yet"
One of the favorite things my student had written was: that I needed to "step out of the lukewarm bath of incompetence that you have been steeping in for the last 5 years."
My favorite professor walked into class one day & said, "We're ahead of schedule, I'm super hungover, & I don't feel like teaching. So just ask me questions, I'll answer them, then I'll ask you a question." We did this for 75 minutes. Just all the students getting to know our teacher & him getting to know us. He was asked his favorite drink. "Scotch." Favorite food? "Scotch." If you could replace water in water fountains worldwide, what would it be? "Scotch, obviously. I don't care if you don't like it. I like it & that would be an enormous convenience."
He inspired me to pick up another major (his field) & to try scotch. Writing this now with a glass of scotch next to me. I've never looked back. Thank you, Mr. Andrews.
I suffered repercussions myself for leaving one review. It still makes me red behind the ears thinking about it:
As a somewhat overeager freshman, I was perhaps too honest in a review of my journalism 101 prof; this was my first class of my major, and she failed to live up to my Rory Gilmore-like expectations. The class was very small, and she fawned over a Barbie carbon copy, queen of her HS prom type in the class. I had no problem with the girl herself- she was genuinely interested in the class because her fashion interests stemmed, like many, from magazines and culture setting iconic editors, etc. The problem was the professor: she was an aging dumpy woman and she positively GLOWED having a beauty queen's undivided attention, and the course pretty quickly became tailored toward the girl's interests, and I was left disappointed with my introduction to my major, even more so because this woman was also the wife of the head of the communication's department, and like good little journo I am, I had done my research on her before choosing her class months ahead of time. She was a former editor for our largest local papers and one of the largest in our state, so I thought all of these factors would give me a great foot hold in the door. I was sorely mistaken, I gained absolutely nothing from that class, and a less experienced student not already working the industry would most likely have been turned off on the subject. And I told her so in the review, in a professional but frank manner.
Semester ends, summer begins and she calls my phone, leaves a VM asking me to call her back. I just knew it had something to do with the review. I was wrong again- I had no IDEA how truly petty and bat shit she was. She proceeded to call and leave messages, including texts, for the rest of the summer, as well as emails, all of increasing desperation and aggravation, and it was most definitely regarding my review. She openly stated in her messages that she knew it was my hand writing and she demanded to know how I could say such things and to DISCUSS IT WITH HER RIGHT NOW. When I remained radio silent, contemplating and dreading the situation all summer, she then proceeded to somehow convince her husband to contact my guidance counselor and force a meeting of sorts to discuss if my major was the right choice for me, during which time I'm sure she would have been present and ready for a fight. This was years ago but I believe I just continued to ignore her contact and she eventually stopped.
Fast forward a few years and I've just left a solid career with a well-read online publication after being contacted and courted heavily by a local paper with a major board of tri state heavyweights, including Geraldo Rivera. I thought I had it made, and they put intense pressure on me to leave my job and work for them within a week, as they had just wiped almost their entire staff and brought in a new editor with a stellar background. I burned that bridge obviously with my old job just to walk in my first Monday with devil professor grinning, holding my set of keys and ready to give me my tour. She apparently was the new star editor, and SEVEN YEARS LATER recognized my name and pushed to hire me. Just so she could complete the psycho picture and torment me in my job and make my work a living nightmare. She crushed my soul within two weeks and I walked out. Couldn't go back to the old job, and it's put a serious dent in my career.
It burns me up. Those reviews were anonymous. She abused her powers and harassed me, stalked me, made assumptions right off the bat it was me with accusations, and then plotted and manipulated like a goddamned movie villain to lure me to a new job with burned bridges behind me, just to get her petty little revenge on that review and show me she knows her shit. Congrats old lady, you won. I just loved journalism and my state and wanted to work.
My history professor’s favorite review from a student was “Tried to be a son of b*tch and failed.”
The best professor I ever had opened the first class with his Rate My Professor reviews. Most people said he was too difficult, some said he was absolutely amazing, and one person said that “he stalks about the room like an agitated orangutan.” The class was hard - we went from 30 students to nine, but I liked him so much I took his two other courses, then sent him a thank-you note 12 years later for inspiring me. Fortunately I caught him right before he retired.
One professor I've had would always mention his favorite he'd gotten from years past: "By far the best example of wasted sperm I've ever seen"
Edit: The kicker was that the student signed it in order for the evaluation to be kept in the professor's evaluation records.
Had a professor show us on our last day her most favorite review ever :
“She’s a good teacher, a little rude sometimes. She just needs a good d*ck in her.”
I worked in academia for years and the best Rate My Professor comment I saw about one of the professors I knew was "she's the Chemistry department's equivalent of Pennywise the clown". There was a lot of truth in that statement as she was a truly horrible person and enjoyed toying with and harming others.
My favorite evaluation from a student was "She was clearly very passionate about the subject. I was not."
Second best was "I do not like her work-dress attire." Well ok then. A friend once got "Her teeth are too big." End of semester evals are basically my favorite time of the year.
My dad teaches art so his students would often draw on the evaluation forms. He received them a semester later and never saw the originals, but some of his favorite transcribed evaluations were "Student drew dragon giving thumbs up sign" and "Student drew stick figure with arrow pointing to feet with label 'Professor Matt rocks my socks'" (in recent years, however, the university has switched to electronic surveys).
I once had two sections of the same class back to back. The evaluations from one class rated me as one of the worst instructors on campus. The other class gave me glowing evaluations. The difference between the 8 am class that was shocked that I expected them to think first thing in the morning and the 9 am class that did the readings and came to class prepared.
And students who thought I was “mean” for expecting them to, you know, actually write papers and hand them in and then— horror of horrors—I didn’t give them credit for all their hard work but actually read and graded said papers—they did not give very good evaluations, either.
My genocide professor had to start first class by stating "Yes I am from Kentucky, my head is shaved because I have about 5 Homer Simpson hairs, yes I know people in the KKK I'm from Kentucky, no I am not a white supremacist and if you can stomach it you can eat in class." Prompted an immediate discussion of how his first class had a little old Jewish woman init who complained that a neo nazi was teaching a genocide course. Also I was the only one who could stomach food. Messed up but life altering course.
Edit: the class was the history of genocide. You all know if you saw that offered you would take it.
I am a professor and below are some of the comments I received this semester:
* Uses too many unnecessary and complex words, instead of showing us pictures and slides.
* Talks too fast, I cannot keep taking notes
* Did not allow wearing headphones in the class
* Avoids questions during the class, or forgets to answer them
* Gives simple problems in the class, but difficult ones in homeworks and exams.
I had a professor who put the review "Biggest Asshole Ever!" on his first day of class slides. He was one of my favorite professors, and he didn't take shit from anyone.
I knew a professor who once got a review from a student who said she had threatened to eat her child. The professor was both confused and amused, she knew exactly which student had written it and the incident which caused it wherein she had not threatened to eat the woman's child. The woman showed up not at her office but rather just walked into the research lab with her 4 year old child in tow, at which point she was told she couldn't have her child in there and can't walk in without asking.
One of my profs did this too, a prominent Egyptologist. Most of the comments were about his appearance/being ginger so on the last day of class he brought us his extremely (what I can only assume) embarrassing high school class photos.
Last year I had two separate comments from two separate grades/classes:
"You are too cringy"
It was amazing and I followed the latter.
A kid in my bio 1 class left a review that said something like, "I didn't learn shit in this class the professor is awful". My professor then said there was only one person who made less than a 30 so far.
My boyfriend is an instructor and someone commented about his nipples on rate my professor.
I’m in a class with a professor like this right now. We have memos due and you have to title it to him like you would title it to your boss. He read the ones that “threw the most shade” “Dr. “Professor”, Wannabe professor, Earle Hall, University.” Everyone laughed because he is not a standard professor but he is definitely one of the favorites in the department.
I had a couple of professors that were a little bitter about some of their reviews.
The professor I did research with had a couple of them that he made fun of:
He uses algebra for his problems (this was engineering analysis II so basically solving ODEs with advanced math like calculus and god forbid algebra)
He says the same jokes. (he did but he made fun of the guy in class by saying he should have passed the class the first time if he didn't want to hear his jokes more than once)
My fluids professor was proud that he had the pepper on ratemyprofessor. But he was also bitter about some of the not so good reviews.
Mind you these were probably the two best professors we had in the whole program. Anyone saying anything bad about them was a lazy f*ck who didn't want to put in minimal work.
My professor got reviewed by the cis dept and he said he wanted to shoot the guy that reviewed him. He threatened my grade because he said he saw what I, honestly, rated him.
I will never do those stupid evaluations anymore.
Seventeen years as a professor, and all I ever got was "You s*ck at teaching, please retire."
I can't believe it took me 17 years to realize it was time to retire.
Note: no one ever said that to me on a review. Reviews are mixed, half good, half bad. I retired for health reasons, and wish I didn't have to retire. Best job I ever had.
I had a professor do this by inserting slides into a slideshow about Shakespeare right as we reached the Kenneth Branagh portion. I was like HELL YEAH KBRAN and all of a sudden it was a slide full of shitty, totally valid comments. He would try to goad us into fighting and debating constantly (it was a summer morning humanities class and no one cared or had the energy) and he would play devil’s advocate for things that didn’t merit it.
Anyway, he read the comments in a shaking voice, told us that when he looked at us, all he saw were “a bunch of F*CKING cowards”, and began to cry. No one knew what to do. So we had to endure it and then he just sent us home.
I had a professor read his once. 60 of the 100 students in the class failed our “block exam” with other classes because our professor had literally skipped class half the semester.
One comment was: “You s*ck and I hope you die.”
remember I had a disagreement with my old netsec professor... my very first semester in college, and it soured our relationship my entire time in the CS program.
The professor always had the class write 2 reviews, one "unofficial" at the beginning of the semester, and one "official", towards the end. I usually always wrote something along the lines of, " I'm only taking you, because you're the only instructor that teaches my subject of interest." For the first unofficial review. The semester would go on some , and remember how much I despised this professor around midterm time, and how much this professor tode my ass all class, every class.
For my final, official review, I would always write, "If I could find another professor that teaches near me, and doesn't talk themselves up for 80% of the class...I would tell other students, we'd all drop you for this other instructor, and you'd be without a job"
Looking back... I really didn't like that professor. However, because this professor always rode my ass I really know my stuff.