Not all college professors are created equal. Nor do they fit into simple categories like “good” and “bad.” In fact, college professors come in many types, most of which have pros and cons.
1. The one who never stops talking
The professor who loves to lecture might just love the sound of their voice. The constant talking may dispense a lot of valuable information, but it might also put you to sleep.
2. The one who loves PowerPoint
Professors who love PowerPoint probably don’t love teaching the class. After all, have you ever witnessed, or even heard about, an impassioned PowerPoint presentation? Neither have we.
3. The one who is famous
If your professor is highly regarded in their field — a legitimately famous author, for example — be prepared for potentially awesome lectures, but also frequent absences. Your professor, after all, will give interviews, readings, and possibly even appear on TV. That’ll leave you in the hands of an annoying TA.
4. The one who speaks in a monotone
This professor puts the whole class to sleep every session. Either they don’t notice or they don’t care.
5. The one who makes your class read a book they wrote
Self-promoters are impossible to avoid on a college campus. The plus side, of course, is that they know the material very well. But they may also have an ego and a bias.
6. The hot one
What’s better than being good-looking? Being good-looking and smart! The only downside is you may have trouble focusing on the material you’re meant to be learning…
7. The hippie
Some professors never left the 1960s. You can identify them by their Birkenstocks and their laidback attitudes. Also their affinity for talking about non-violence and good music even when it’s not relevant. Hippies tend to be easy graders.
8. The one with too many personal biases
Usually in the political science department, the professor with too many personal biases always makes their opinion known. This can cloud their judgment and, more often than not, make it harder to learn the objective truth.
9. The one who’s really a grad student
If you have a TA, a GSI, or some other annoying acronym leading your class, chances are your being taught by a grad student. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. What grad students lack in experience they usually make up for in preparation and enthusiasm.
10. The one who’s really, really smart
Maybe your professor is brainy. Or even a bona fide genius! Either way, you’ve lucked out. The lectures will be top-notch. The potential downside, however, is that the class might be held to a higher standard. Grading might be more difficult and assignments might be more complex.