<p>In other words, what do you consider the most important (or a combination of important) qualities in a professor?</p>
<p>A professor who makes an effort to get to know everybody or mostly everybody. A professor who teaches, and takes the time to layout a lesson and not just copy from a book. And a professor who is approachable before and after class, or through email.</p>
<p>Pretty much one who cares about students.</p>
<p>A professor who engages students into the lectures and doesn't regurgitate what the textbook says. He or she also answers my questions and e-mails me very quickly.</p>
<p>Professors who are enthusiastic about the material they are teaching. (If they think it's boring, why should I care?)</p>
<p>Professors who put material into a bigger context. </p>
<p>Professors who turn even exams into a learning opportunity. (Synthesizing new information with old course material beats filling in bubbles.)</p>
<p>I value professors who expose me to ideas or information I could have not easily found elsewhere, and spark an interest that an inanimate textbook could not spark. I couldn't care less about whether they know my name or hold regular office hours.</p>
<p>Professors that make themselves available and who manage to teach the wealth of information expected in my department without piling on thousands of pages of reading a week-- I swear some of my professors pick 10 textbooks for one class and let them do all the work instead of actually telling us anything themselves. The best class I ever took only had 20-40 pages of reading a week and I learned more than any other class I've taken. That was a great professor. (Of course, great professors can assign tons of reading, too, they just don't rely on it to teach the course.)</p>
<p>Thanks everyone! Please give some suggestions if you can; I'd really appreciate it!</p>
<p>Challenges students opinions and makes them defend views with evidence.
Adjust office hours.
Good feedback on papers.
Fair- doesn't let own opinions dictate teaching/discussions/grading.</p>
<p>my absolute favorite professor was engaging and really cared about her students. Most importantly, the class was structured with a ton of mediums - as in one day, we would have a group presentation. The next day, debate. The next week, a simulation (similar to model UN). The next day, lecture with small group discussion. Another class, guest speaker. Next day, video conference. etc. The variety in classes made me interested in going, because I never got bored. She was very organized and listed out her expectations well before-hand but was also flexible (and let us push back the due date for our big essay). She also kindly invited every one of us individually to lunch (on her dime) and even invited us to her home to watch a class-related movie. In addition, she went out of her way to give feedback on how we were doing. i.e. we'd write a 10 page paper and receive literally 2 pages typed in feedback (on the things we were doing well and things we could improve on). That was vital to me. And finally, the class was challenging. Yes, we had a ton of reading. Yes, we had weekly discussion posts that were due before the reading (forcing us to actually read before class). But I felt that it was completely worth it.</p>
<p>Best professor I've had taught the hardest course I've taken. He:
Had multiple review sessions every week, which HE actually attended.
Assigned problems that required you to have such a complete understanding of the material, that it forced you to review in order to solve them, as well as think outside the box.
Had tests that weren't as difficult as the problem sets, but required synthesizing information.
Was excited about what he was teaching, and used multi-colored chalk.
Acted like Bill Nye for college students, always having a demonstration at the end of class.
Knew all his students by name, and if they weren't showing up to class, or didn't seem right, would ask them about their well-being after class. Despite it being a class with more than 70 students.
Understood how tough the class was, and EXPECTED collaboration on problem sets, rather than saying that it must be completely "independent" work. Even though you DID need to understand the material, everyone benefits when people collaborate.</p>