yconic - Dealing with a 'Professor' for 3 high school subjects X_X
Hide Menu

My Feed Money for School Student Help Brands Winners Support Center



Explore yconic
Explore Student Life Topics
Scotiabank
STUDENT CHAMPION
yconic proudly recognizes Student Champion Partners who are providing our community with superior support for their student journeys. Learn More
Student Help Brands

Dealing with a 'Professor' for 3 high school subjects X_X

A photo of powerproxy powerproxy
I am in need of assistance. If you have the time to read this "story", please do so

I am a grade 12 student at an Ontario high school currently taking in semester one (I will only mention the courses that matter in this situation)

Uni Chem
Advanced Functions

Both of these courses, AND my next semester Calculus & Vectors, is taught by the same teacher.

N.B. He was also my teacher for Grade 11 Functions. -_-

This teacher is a PhD in chemistry, and has a passion to challenge students intellectually. Long story short, he is a guy with a good reputation; wrote a couple of books, was a professeur and TA at UofT, was even asked to write up a textbook. If you have him the first few days of class, he teaches like as if he expects you to already know the course material that needs to be introduced firsthand to the students.

In chemistry, he first begun with explaining concepts briefly and often through his own words. He would criticize the textbook for its structures, and even for some mistakes he found. However, as the year progressed, he adopts the behaviour of giving us the booklet package to work on for a unit and sit there at the desk.

Chemistry is not the problem for me. I am able to understand concepts by searching online, asking him for help (by the way, going to him for extra help privately is like being taught by an actual teacher going step-by-step. Hes a different person personally)

Its math that is the problem. The majority of the class lies below a 75%, and I am just holding on to an 80. I place 4th in my class, along with the other 3 averaging at 85%, 89%, and 1 91%.

The issue are his math tests

Just to make this clear, almost all the buddies I have in my class understand just about EVERYTHING covered in the unit before the test comes. When the test comes however, I can say there is a lot we thought we understood, but would've understood better through looking at the question at a different angle.

You would do the review and you would still find yourself puzzled with the word problems on the test. He focuses on putting questions under "THINKING & INQUIRY" category and giving them at least 6-7 marks [yes, for just one question]. Messing up this "trick" question is the difference between a 100% and a 70% overall.

Can anyone suggest ways I can help prepare myself better for these questions? I tried asking him for extra questions to do, but he just said to refer to what was given or handed out. However, these references are not reliable, as they are repititive and don't prepare you well for the challenges lying in the test. I need an 87% on this course and I will be good with that. I started with an 89% btw.
Was this helpful? Yes 0
7 replies
 
A photo of JOLEECHAN JOLEECHAN
Have you tried asking him for extra help for math as well?

Although he criticizes the textbook, I think it'd be advantageous to read through it and try those problems too. Just for extra practice even if they're not what he likes to give you on tests.

You can also ask him to take up the test questions with you and see if he'll tell you where you went wrong? Do his questions tend to follow a certain structure? I used to have a math teacher who liked to ask for "model solutions" and we'd lose marks if we didn't follow through and give him what he wanted. Solution? Remember all the steps you need in said "model solution" and do the same for the test questions.

Is this teacher a new staff? If not, ask your seniors who were in his class before. They might have had better luck with his tests. Ask them how they would answer a specific question and compare it with your own.

You can also ask a senior student, a classmate who's doing well in class, or find a tutor who can explain the same concept to you thoroughly and then in a different perspective. Sometimes if you can understand the topic fully, it'd make it easier to analyze the questions on the test.

Is he the only math teacher for this course? You can try talking to the other math teachers if there are any. Every teacher will teach differently and they might be willing to give you extra help if you don't understand.

If the textbook questions are too easy or you want more practice, try looking in your local bookstore or online for more workbooks!

Hope you'll be able to bring up your mark!
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of powerproxy powerproxy

@JOLEECHAN wrote
Have you tried asking him for extra help for math as well?

Although he criticizes the textbook, I think it'd be advantageous to read through it and try those problems too. Just for extra practice even if they're not what he likes to give you on tests.

You can also ask him to take up the test questions with you and see if he'll tell you where you went wrong? Do his questions tend to follow a certain structure? I used to have a math teacher who liked to ask for "model solutions" and we'd lose marks if we didn't follow through and give him what he wanted. Solution? Remember all the steps you need in said "model solution" and do the same for the test questions.

Is this teacher a new staff? If not, ask your seniors who were in his class before. They might have had better luck with his tests. Ask them how they would answer a specific question and compare it with your own.

You can also ask a senior student, a classmate who's doing well in class, or find a tutor who can explain the same concept to you thoroughly and then in a different perspective. Sometimes if you can understand the topic fully, it'd make it easier to analyze the questions on the test.

Is he the only math teacher for this course? You can try talking to the other math teachers if there are any. Every teacher will teach differently and they might be willing to give you extra help if you don't understand.

If the textbook questions are too easy or you want more practice, try looking in your local bookstore or online for more workbooks!

Hope you'll be able to bring up your mark!



When we ask him for help on math, he explains it in the most understandable way. He doesn't even mind if we ask for clarification. Also, when he sees alot of people didn't do well, he is considerate and takes up most test questions thoroughly.

Yes, he is 1 of 2 teachers who teach adv functions and calculus. My friends goto this other younger math teacher for help but yet, we become victimized to his trick questions. Just when we think we asked that math teacher everything we were confused with, there was still something he managed to come up with something to leave us puzzled. Some of my friends told me that their senior friends who had him just either dropped the course for night school, or switched out to another teacher.

Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of g93 g93
Life sucks. Get used to it. My AF class average was 59 60 or 61. Do well with this teacher, and you'll be well prepared for uni. My AF teacher would put stuff from chapter 7 and 8 (which we hadn't covered) on the Chapters 1 and 2 tests.
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of littleroom littleroom
As frustrating as he is, this sounds like excellent preparation for university.
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of brett7788 brett7788
Tough but get over it! He sounds strict and stuck up but he will prepare you for university where the professors are more like that.
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of Mar Mar
You should be very happy that you got such a good math teacher. If you can survive in his class and get a good mark you will have no troubles in your first year at university.
I was in identical situation just like you and I didn't do good on my math tests because test questions seemed to be very different from review. However, when I wrote a provincial exam I got perfect on it.

I would recommend you to read each question slowly and carefully. You should always look for key words in these question. For example, if you are doing probability unit always look for words such as at least, at most, first, last, exact and many others (plus their synonyms and antonyms)
As long as you understand a concept you should be fine

Review questions could be very similar to your test questions. The difference is that your teacher could be using different wording (by using synonyms, antonyms, etc).

Good Luck!
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of MaybeMelody MaybeMelody
So it seems to me what you're asking about is the tests.
I'm not in school at the moment, but at my workplace we do tests any time we have "up training", or they'll just send out little warm-up quizzes every few weeks.
It's not so bad. They're easy tests, and it's always about things we know. We can even look for the answers in our computer systems.
The thing about them is that they too are rather poorly worded. Not so much because they're trying to trick us, but because they just aren't good at writing word problems.

What I find works best is if you read it three times, eliminate any unnecessary words (adjectives, etc) and focus on the main points. Sometimes if I pull out the main words, even if they're in the wrong order, the meaning becomes more clear.

If this doesn't work, I'd recommend asking for clarification. Some teachers will re-word the question for you, or if you ask for a specific clarification (ie what did you mean by these two words?) they will give you that help.

Good luck!
Was this helpful? Yes 0