You have to understand what to expect from your instructors when moving from high school to college. There are major differences between a high school teacher vs college professor.
Consider the differences between a high school teacher vs college professor, in order to understand what to get used to when making the transition from high school to college.
What A High School Teacher Accomplishes
High school teachers act as student educators and supervisors.
The main goals of a high school teacher are assessing student comprehension and progress with the assigned curriculum. They achieve this goal through various tasks:
- Asking questions to students during class
- Providing regular assignments
- Meeting with parents to report progress
Teachers, however, also act as supervisors and chaperones for students too. They have to have clear management skills to control in-class behavior.
Teachers also are tasked to participate in other extracurricular activities, such as:
- School committees
- Coaching clubs and sports
- Ad hoc supervision during school events
Teacher Position Expectations And Responsibilities
Teachers are responsible for accomplishing the following tasks in general:
- Teaching courses in their respective areas of subject expertise
- Planning assignments and lessons according to school district-provided curriculum
- Communicating regularly with instructors and parents about student progress as necessary
- Preparing students for standardized tests as necessary
- Attending regular workshops and evaluations to stay up to date with credentials
- Working with individual students on a regular basis
- Acting as a supervisor for underage students during class duration
What A College Professor Accomplishes
College professors are responsible for teaching students and conducting original research for publishing.
College professors perform some of the same duties as high school teachers, with some major differences. Professors’ goals included:
- Teaching students via lectures
- Conducting original research
- Advancing their fields of study
- Advising graduate students in various ways
- Keeping abreast of their peers’ work and providing criticism when necessary
Professors have less of a supervisory rule than high school teachers, therefore, are not as heavily affected by class pass/fail rates. Their concern is to seek out new information to enrich their fields first and teach that information to students second.
Professor Position Expectations And Responsibilities
College professors are responsible for accomplishing the following tasks:
- Designing the course curriculum and tests for students
- Developing a comprehensive syllabus including lessons, reading materials, and test dates
- Planning out and providing meaningful class lessons
- Assessing student progress via exams and course projects to assign final grades
- Communicating with professors in respective departments regarding changes and updates
- Staying current with developments and research in their respective fields
Teacher To Professor Transition Tips
Use these strategies in order to make the learning transition from teacher to professor easier on you:
Keep On Top Of Syllabus – Professors lay out exactly what you are expected to read, work on, and ultimately know on the first day of class. Don’t ignore your syllabus or take it for granted.
As soon as you receive it, highlight your exams and projects/papers that you’ll be working on. Mark them all in your calendar. Get the necessary reading materials as outlined. Professors will not remind you of what is due and when: that is now your responsibility alone.
Introduce Yourself – Professors often lecture to 100-300 plus students at a time. They won’t know who everyone is by face or name alone. If you want your professor to know who you are and develop a relationship, then you have to put in the leg work.
Therefore, introduce yourself personally before or after class, and participate in class discussions when appropriate. Make yourself stand out in their minds.
Use Office Hours For Help – Professors want their students to succeed, but it’s not their job to find out if your struggling or not. You are supposed to be responsible for your own academic understanding.
All professors have posted office hours where you can meet with them and ask specific questions outside of class. Take full advantage of them. Remember that they’re busy doing their own research so, as a result, their time is limited. Use as much of the time that you can when necessary.
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