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How exactly do I let colleges know about a bad teacher?

Student3453Student3453 4 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
I am in a situation right now and I need help. I want to apply to be a Computer Science major, but this situation really hurts my chances of admission. I recently had an AP Calculus AB teacher who was unreasonable with his tests and work. He would give us tests that nobody in the class would finish, with average grades between 10-40%. He gave us an AP exam preparation project and ended up rushing us at the end of the year (5-hours of homework daily!!). Overall, super unreasonable teacher compared to every other teacher at our high school.

Since he was this unreasonable, we decided to start a petition and spoke with our school principal several times. The principal decided to talk to the teacher and responded that that was his own teaching style. However, after the year ended (and most of us got bad grades after a dumb bell curve), the teacher was revoked of his AP license.

I ended up with bad grades in the class, having two C's for both semesters of my junior year. Since it is my junior year, it is very important and the fact that it is a math course makes it even more important. I really want to pursue Computer Science at a good university, but these math grades are a huge burden.

If anyone has any advice on how to let colleges know appropriately of this situation that would be much appreciated.
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Replies to: How exactly do I let colleges know about a bad teacher?

  • Student3453Student3453 4 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    edited October 9
    ^^
    If I got a good score on the AP exam, would that probably indicate that something was wrong with the teacher?
    edited October 9
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4217 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I agree BUT if this was a school issue your counselor can put something in their report that they send.

    My kids had always complained about bad teachers and those also seem to be the same classes that they didn't do well in.. Hmmm

    Colleges don't always have great professors also. How are you going to handle it in college?
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  • Student3453Student3453 4 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Knowsstuff wrote: »
    I agree BUT if this was a school issue your counselor can put something in their report that they send.

    My kids had always complained about bad teachers and those also seem to be the same classes that they didn't do well in.. Hmmm

    Colleges don't always have great professors also. How are you going to handle it in college?

    I realize that, but I'm not sure how I could demonstrate (whether through exams, subject tests etc) that I am not really at fault.
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  • Techno13Techno13 175 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Take the Math L2 Subject Exam.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7254 replies56 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If it was truly a terrible teacher situation, your GC can address it. In no way should you say anything yourself.

    But, if there was truly a bell curve, then some of your classmates managed to a find a way to succeed and get As and Bs. If I were the GC I'm not sure I would throw this teacher under the bus either.

    My D had a horrible AP chem teacher her senior year. As a prospective chem e, that was a crucial class for her. We told her that it was up to her to find a way to succeed in the class. She ended up forming a study group with friends, went for extra help to a different science teacher, and reached out to a friend's older sibling for tutoring. She also spent a lot of time watching Kahn Academy lectures. She made it work. For the record, this teacher was also demoted the following year and end up "leaving" in the middle of the next semester.

    As noted above, your time with poor teachers isn't over. For sure you will end up with a crummy prof at least a few times in college. It's going to be on you to find a way to learn the material. Blaming a teacher for a poor grade isn't going to fly as an excuse.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4217 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You don't. You don't make excuses. Your counselor can write something on your behalf. Doubt your principle will but you could ask.

    There is a section on the common application that you can put any additional information about yourself. Write a few lines like right now. It's all going to sound like your making excuses. The situation that you tell sucks... And it was a really hard class. Did you get a 4 or 5 on the AP test? That can deflate the class grade a bit.

    Adcoms see inconsistencies like this all the time. If it's a one off then don't worry about it. Your not getting rejected just due to this one grade /class.

    What else have you done to make yourself a competitive applicant in the computer science realm?
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  • Student3453Student3453 4 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    edited October 9
    Knowsstuff wrote: »
    You don't. You don't make excuses. Your counselor can write something on your behalf. Doubt your principle will but you could ask.

    There is a section on the common application that you can put any additional information about yourself. Write a few lines like right now. It's all going to sound like your making excuses. The situation that you tell sucks... And it was a really hard class. Did you get a 4 or 5 on the AP test? That can deflate the class grade a bit.

    Adcoms see inconsistencies like this all the time. If it's a one off then don't worry about it. Your not getting rejected just due to this one grade /class.

    What else have you done to make yourself a competitive applicant in the computer science realm?

    I have various XC's like Robotics Team, Founder of Tutoring Org, Webmaster for a student-run business, etc.

    I also took SAT Math II and SAT Physics

    I also work on side projects if that counts
    edited October 9
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4217 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It counts and that all sounds great. That's what's going to get you in. Concentrate on what you can change/control and don't waste energy on what you can't. These are all life lessons that will serve you well. These are lessons that will make you successful.

    Next time your in that situation do as @momofsenior1 daughter did. Take control of your destination. Don't let the situation control you. That is what successful people in life do.

    Good Luck.
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  • Student3453Student3453 4 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks everyone for your help. I realize that complaining isn't a good option, but my situation is pretty stressful so I wasn't sure what to do.
    Knowsstuff wrote: »
    It counts and that all sounds great. That's what's going to get you in. Concentrate on what you can change/control and don't waste energy on what you can't. These are all life lessons that will serve you well. These are lessons that will make you successful.

    Next time your in that situation do as @momofsenior1 daughter did. Take control of your destination. Don't let the situation control you. That is what successful people in life do.

    Good Luck.

    Also thanks for your feedback!
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7254 replies56 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Focus on your strengths in your application and rock your senior year math class.
    Your GC will send a midterm report so your colleges will see your first semester grades.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34100 replies376 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited October 9
    Sorry about this. Can't figure this out without naming colleges. Some top schools with highly competitive applicants can be a problem. Calc is important to CS. Robotics alone can't counter that. It's vital you have reasonable targets.

    Maybe the GC can't put a complaint in writing. But he/she could state the facts: difficult teacher, class average, show support for you, etc. Hinges on your strengths and if you have a good relationship,

    Some GCs might call your AO, to avoid putting things on paper.

    What math this year? Is it a progression from AB? Are you doing well?
    edited October 9
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34100 replies376 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You also haven't mentioned stats, other than for this class.
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  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 1717 replies26 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I'm sorry but nobody cares. You will have bad professors in college too. This is life.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6703 replies57 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    One of our collegekids had 3 chem teachers in one year- the first had a medical emergency, the next was so bad that he was fired during the year and the third was in their first year of teaching anything any where. It was a disaster for all of the students. The school put a note in each of their records that flagged that there had been problems.

    The trick here is where you were in the curve: If the highest grade was a B- and you got a C+, then your GC could say that your C+ put you in the top % of the class. But, if there were As in the class, then your Cs aren't solely the teacher's fault.
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2217 replies36 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "The trick here is where you were in the curve: If the highest grade was a B- and you got a C+, then your GC could say that your C+ put you in the top % of the class. But, if there were As in the class, then your Cs aren't solely the teacher's fault."

    That's really the best way to handle this. If you can get the teacher, the guidance counselor, or the department chair to verify where you were on the curve, your GC can mention this in his LOR, and if not you could mention it in the "anything else we should know" section. It helps to have great test scores on the AP exam, the math sections of the SAT/ACT, and on the SAT Math II. As a junior, you'll want stellar grades in the first semester of math next year too. It is possible to SHOW you can handle the work without bashing the teacher.
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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1363 replies35 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Don't look for excuses. AOs won't look at it favorably. If you do well on the AP exam, it will help explain by itself without you making excuses.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29420 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Your GC and/or Principal would have most impact bringing it up. But it’s not going to make much difference. Your GPA will be calculated straight out unweighted and the Cs noted before they get to any commentary most likely. That’s just the way colleges do things. And yes, it’s going to hurt.

    Best thing to do is to take. An APP BC Calc or Calc 3 course and a local college and get an A in it to submit as quarter and first semester grades. But that C for junior year will be in your average whatever you do
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  • mikemacmikemac 10333 replies150 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited October 10
    I recently had an AP Calculus AB teacher who was unreasonable with his tests and work. He would give us tests that nobody in the class would finish, with average grades between 10-40%.
    Since you mention you are applying to college as a CS major, you are going to be quite unhappy in college if you think this is "unreasonable". Talk to some current science or CS majors...
    He gave us an AP exam preparation project and ended up rushing us at the end of the year (5-hours of homework daily!!). . Overall, super unreasonable
    Again, talk to current college CS students and tell them you think 25 hrs/wk per class is unreasonable. When they stop laughing I think they'll have some comments about their experiences in your chosen major you might find enlightening.
    edited October 10
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