The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


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COLUMN: Start appreciating your professors

Ashanti Thomas

At the beginning of this semester, I became a graduate assistant for an English class. I was a bit nervous at the beginning because I had been a substitute teacher for elementary and middle schools, but college felt like a completely different ballpark.

It was not what I expected.

I had thought it would be like how my freshman year composition class was, which was full of students who did not want to write papers or do work. I was afraid I would be too much and create assignments they would not enjoy.

My class is the complete opposite, and I always love to see what they come up with. That being said, whenever I make lessons, I realize how much work goes into keeping a class afloat.

Throughout my years at Eastern, I would hear other students complain about D2L and how they wish some professors would put assignments up earlier or ask each other how a professor could mess up a part of the D2L. Let me tell you, the teacher side of D2L is wild.

Seeing the other side made me appreciate professors who use D2L. There is a lot of different information and steps they need to take before being able to submit something for students to see. It is not simply adding in a file and calling it a day like most students would probably assume.

Being a professor is also just very time-consuming. While I am just a graduate assistant, I see my main professor working hard to put together lessons. When I come up with lessons and assignments, sometimes it takes me hours just to come up with something.

Plus, I do not teach every class period, and I still find myself feeling like I am messing something up or that my lesson might confuse students more than teach them. Imagine doing that every single day with the possibility of different courses added to your plate.

Teaching is thinking about how a lesson will go, coming up with backup plans, making sure that the lesson is helpful, checking emails, making assignments and so much more. It is not an easy job by any means.

Every class period, I stand in awe watching how a lesson can completely change each student. I have seen students think, analyze and write in ways I thought I would never get the chance to.

Then when I thought about it, I was doing the same thing. I never realized it until I was behind the desk at the front. I only truly realized how much goes into teaching college once I was given the chance.

Teachers have to go in each day with no idea how a day might go, if they need to extend an assignment or even if they have to change their lesson plan entirely. It is a lot to think about no matter what grade level you teach.

Being a graduate assistant has made me really appreciate everything my professors truly do for me and the things they need to do to get through the day or even just a class. It is an experience I will forever be thankful for and has allowed me to see my professors through a new lens.

So, maybe lighten up on that one professor you think is too slow at grading your 10-page paper or the one whose class you feel is boring just because it is not exactly your cup of tea.

They are doing their best. Without them, you would not be getting a degree. So, have a little compassion and thank them every once in a while. They are people too, and they all have lives and feelings.

It could make a difference.


Kierstyn Budz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Kierstyn Budz, Columnist
Kierstyn Budz is a senior English major. This is her first year at The News. 
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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