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Tough Teacher Survival Guide

All Wake Forest collegiettes have encountered one. Whether you’ve known right away what you’re dealing with, or you’ve shortly realized after getting a bad grade on the test you though you aced, we all have become aware of the hard truth that some teachers pride themselves on embodying the “Work Forest” name.  While you may have to work extra hard if you’re taking a class with a teacher like this, don’t give up hope! Here at Her Campus, we’ve got plenty of tips to get you through the semester.

                                                                                                           *Image from themetapicture.com


The first step is to stop moaning and groaning about the professor. It’s not going to do you any good or improve your grade to constantly bad mouth him or her around town. Complaining wastes the time and effort you could be using to improve your predicament.  Get over it and start having a positive mindset – you WILL get through this.


Get to know your teacher better by visiting him during his office hours. Most professors will work with you to make an appointment if you can’t make it to their regular ones. Attending office hours shows them that you are putting in extra effort to learn, and that you care about your grade. It gives you time to ask the questions you didn’t have a chance to ask in class and for the teacher to explain certain points in more detail.  The outside information you get from them during office hours will be useful (and being a bit of a teacher’s pet won’t hurt either).


Have a long essay to edit? Take it to the writing center in the ZSR library for help.  Experienced writers will go over your essay with you and improve the way you present your paper topic.  FYI: your essay will not be written for you, but the professionals in the Writing Center enter help give your paper clarity, structure, and help fix any mechanical errors.  From science research to English papers the writing center is an incredibly useful tool and can easily make the difference between an A and a B. If you attend a teacher’s office hours after going to the writing center to fix an essay, it doesn’t hurt to mention that you visited it. This shows them what you’ve been doing to boost your grade.


The Learning Assistance Center provides peer tutoring to students who want help with a specific course as well. Peer tutors are qualified students that are chosen based on faculty recommendations, interviews, and grades…so they know their stuff. There is also a good chance that your tutor knows or has had the teacher you are dealing with and can offer you specific tips. Having someone around your age who is specialized in the course you are having trouble with might be a perfect option in this case.


Participation is usually worth a fairly big chunk of your grade and if you participate a lot it can really work to your advantage.  It shows the teacher you are really engaged and are interested in the information they are presenting. Questions and comments show the effort you are putting into the class and will generate discussion that will improve the notes you use to study.

                                                                                                          *Image from andychan.opcd.wfu.edu


Consider the Office of Personal and Career Development especially for business-related classes. This could help you with any career building process or entrepreneurial needs you might have. If you need to write a resume or cover letter, for example, they have walk-in hours for you to edit both of these documents. If you need to practice an interview, a business pitch or presentation for a class, one of the counselors can help you as well.


Ask upperclassmen that have the same major or have taken the same class what they think! Talk to people in groups you are involved in, girls in your sorority or friends to find out how they dealt with the situation. You might be able to get some helpful hints.

Tough teachers are irritating but they are not the end of the world. Use these methods, collegiettes, and you will definitely have an easier time making it through the class. 

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Corey Bloes

Wake Forest

I double majoring in Communication and Spanish at Wake Forest University and write for the News and Blog sections.
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