a guest Oct 12th, 2017 56 Never
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- Good morning!
- I’m a student in <REZA'S> class, section 1. I was told this was the email to send details on any issues I’ve had with Mr. <YOOO>, and that I would remain anonymous in doing so.
- Firstly, thank you so much for taking the time to collect the concerns of myself and the other students in first-year SET. I’ve been hearing hushed whispers for weeks regarding his behavior and practices and hopefully having an outlet like this to share those growing concerns will give the other students a nudge to speak up. Even as a mature student I was unsure if I should raise my own voice, so I can only imagine how nervous the younger students may be about doing so.
- Admittedly for the past two weeks I have been attending Reza’s class only one day out of three (Tuesdays) for assignment turn-in and quiz-taking, and attempting to follow along with what course material he does post on <PFFF> (which is startlingly little and terrible quality) from home or the library. I won’t speak for the others’ individual concerns but I know of at least 20 other students in my intake (of 94) who have taken issue with him, some of which are also avoiding his class except for turn-ins and quiz-taking. I understand this is not ideal, but I do not appreciate the way he behaves with the students. I’m worried I’ll snap and say something to set him off on myself or others and it is for that reason I choose not to attend.
- Please find several of my concerns detailed below, as well as brief summaries of a few specific incidents. His behavior bothers me more than his habits but I included them both just in case. In hindsight I should have been documenting these properly, my apologies that only a few events/concerns have specific dates attached. I’m also somewhat sleep deprived at the moment but wanted to get these sent off ASAP.
- Thank you!
- <IT ME>
- Personal Experiences
- • Sep 20: When learning about angles during the geometry unit, I made the mistake of asking Reza to please clarify that he’s referring to “degrees” when solving the problems. He then proceeded to rant for a solid 5 minutes about how “every teacher teaches differently and there is no right or wrong way in the teacher’s eyes” or some such nonsense and that he “did not care” about the unit of measurement being there or not. Not only did I feel incredibly frustrated in response to bringing up a valid concern, I believe this is INCREDIBLY irresponsible of him as an educator. What are these students going to do once they start learning about minutes and seconds (the units of measurement with regards to trigonometry) if they aren’t accustomed to specifying their angles as degrees? What is he doing, telling a class of 94 students that indicating a unit of measurement isn’t important? I believe he has since corrected this stance but that does not excuse that it happened in the first place.
- • Sep 27: Reza called for answers to a problem from us, trying to pull incorrect answers as well as correct ones. A student gave the answer as 36.6. I submitted my (correct) answer of 36.67. Reza responded that he had that answer already, which I pointed out was incorrect. He then claimed the one on the board already was rounded, where I pointed out if that were the case it has been incorrectly rounded and was still wrong. His response to my insistence that he was incorrect was "It is small, it doesn't matter, I don't care."
- Regarding assignments, work ethic, and course content:
- • Scantron sheets: While I believe using a scantron to mark assignments is a great tool for instructors, a professor should not hand a class of 94 people a stack of scantron sheets at the beginning of the semester. We were told to keep them safe, to not allow them to bend, and do not lose them because we will not be given more. This is an issue, as the sheets are too long to safely transport in a binder or folder within a backpack without risk of tearing/bending. When this concern was brought up with Reza we were told to deal with it and dismissed.
- • Also regarding Scantron: Reza has claimed more than once that he doesn’t actually look at our assignments, he simply makes sure we have enough paper “with writing” attached to the scantron sheet to “prove” we did the work and then scans the Scantron sheet. If we were to provide the work and answers without the scantron, he has threatened that we will be failed on the assignment.
- • Reza has verbally admitted, multiple times, that he is only preparing content a day or so in advance and is forming his assignments with questions pulled directly from MyMathLab. Any time students ask what topics they should be looking into in preparation for the next module they are dismissed with a frustrated exclamation of “I do not know yet! I make them the day before!” His “instructional plan” is also the opposite of helpful:
- • In the first two days of class we were assured personally by Reza, multiple times, that we would not be using MyMathLab in any way whatsoever. Two weeks later he changed his mind and informed us that our assignments and exams would be, and this is not paraphrased, “… taken directly from the MyMathLab.” At this point several students had misplaced or given away their access codes to others who needed them. He has yet to assign content from our textbooks. Reza has stated that every assignment thus far has contained nothing but multiple choice questions from MyMathLab.
- • Reza’s formatting in assignments, while this is a minor gripe, is atrocious. Is that a radical or an exponent? Who knows! I’ve overheard other students having similar issues and solving the problems twice when this occurs and picking whichever answer appears in the multiple choice options. Hardly ideal.
- Regarding treatment of students and attitude:
- • I will open this section with a note on Reza’s attitude in general. He seems to think it is appropriate to make snarky jibes towards his students or openly ridicule them in the middle of a lecture and in front of their peers. I don’t know if he thinks we will take them as jokes or not, or if it makes him “cool”, but I can speak from personal experience and the complaints of my classmates that we do not see them as jokes or light-hearted.
- • This in particular I know got under a few students’ skin: This was how Reza decided to open an announcement that he had made two mistakes creating the multiple choice entries for one of our first assignments. Several students were downright shocked that he would imply we were at fault for his mistake. This has unfortunately proven to be a fairly consistent pattern, and has now become a bit of a joke between a few groups of students. “Oh, didn’t you hear? Reza is never wrong. It must be out fault somehow.”
- • Reza will frequently waste class time by taking an incorrect answer from a student and working the problem until the very end before making snarky comments towards the student who provided it. This would not be an issue if he used the opportunity to teach exactly why the answer is wrong, but he has a terrible habit of letting the majority of the class believe the problem he’s working through is correct when he does this. This leaves many students sitting in confusion and frustration trying to follow along with an incorrect solution attempting to find where they’ve made an error.
- • At least twice per class (often more) Reza can be heard mocking students who attempt to answer more than one question, as well as those who haven’t answered any. “Put your hand down, I don’t want to hear from you.” “You’re smart, you know this, let someone who is not so smart answer.” “Nobody has their hands up, I guess you are all going to fail.” “You all need to stop sleeping in my class.” “Put your hand DOWN if I have heard from you, I don’t want to talk to you!”
- • The usual follow-up to the above is Reza proceeding to single out students who seem extremely uncomfortable and pressure them for answers.
- • Reza often offers far too little time to work through board problems (sometimes as little as 5 minutes for a full board’s worth). Following this he will openly mock students who did not get the problem solved in time, accusing them of sleeping or suggesting they “just stay home if they aren’t going to pay attention.” I feel I should mention that while I do work slowly and fall into that category of students, I have heard this complaint very frequently from many others over the past few weeks.
- • Regarding the previous point and problem solving time limits, he will take “surveys” of the entire class asking who got which answer, using the results to single out those who got it wrong or those who did not complete it in time. He often tries to claim those who did not finish in time are not even trying to solve the problems (which, looking at the frustrated/angry faces around the room when he does this, does not seem to be the case.)
- • In a quiz this week, Reza inconsistently wrote his Z’s and 2’s in our assigned determinant problem. Many students mixed the problem up because of this, but he did catch the issue about 5 minutes into our 14 minute quiz. He did not announce his changes loud enough to be heard through the entire lecture hall (1E05, I was sitting in the back and only knew he changed it because I have poor eyesight and needed to come forward to read the board). After the quiz, when he called on a student in the very back of the room asking why they hadn’t finished, he argued with the student for several minutes claiming he fixed the mixed-up variables and numbers immediately. This was followed with a phrase I’m growing to hate hearing from Reza: “I am never wrong.” The student involved seemed incredibly frustrated that he was being belittled for Reza’s mistake.
- • The number of times Reza has uttered “I do not care” as a response to a valid question from a student absolutely baffles me. How are we supposed to learn a thing or care at all about this class if he responds with indifference to students asking for clarification on methods?
- • Oct 3 2017: An older student in the class was not taking down the method Reza was trying to teach. Reza confronted him (quite loudly) in front of the entire lecture. I’m paraphrasing somewhat here, but the general gist of the (very one-sided) argument was along the lines of Reza: "Why are you even here if you aren't going to learn?" Student: “I know this already.” Reza: "You do not. I do not believe you." Despite us mentioning it several times I do not believe Reza is aware/accepting of the fact that the material he’s teaching has all been covered in <OTHER MATH CLASS> (required prerequisite for mature students with no prior qualifications and as such has been taken by several of us).
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