My teacher said I could teach his class

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42 Replies - 3153 Views - Last Post: 13 September 2012 - 10:20 AM

#1 The_Programmer-  Icon User is offline

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My teacher said I could teach his class

Posted 09 September 2012 - 09:07 PM

I took a Java class last year since I already knew Java so I could ace it. I know a lot of you don't like people correcting other people but I was always correcting my teacher because he was teaching the students bad habits in programming. He would always mess up on multiple things in every lesson. It was like he didn't even know how to program in Java. Since I'm home-schooled I would just web-mail him (If it was in public school I wouldn't correct him). I went to an end of the year celebration thing and he said I was so good I could teach his class! That wouldn't be so hard if I knew what to teach on what lesson. Has a teacher ever told you you were so good that you could teach their class?

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#2 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: My teacher said I could teach his class

Posted 09 September 2012 - 10:21 PM

Normally that's a bitter jab at the student more than anything. Perhaps it was in good faith, but more often than not that's a really bad thing. For the most part, it's a safer bet to keep your head down and not correct the professor. It's better to be right and silent with a good grade, than right and boisterous with a teacher looking to fail you.

Again, your mileage may vary, but in most cases it's a bad idea.
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#3 blackcompe  Icon User is offline

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Re: My teacher said I could teach his class

Posted 10 September 2012 - 05:11 AM

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I don't think there's anything wrong with correcting the teacher. If he's wrong, he's wrong. I'd politely ask the professor if such and such should be done this way rather than the proposed way. Obviously, in a lecture hall of 100 students that's not a good idea (and can be done after class), but in a small classroom, I don't see a problem. You also don't want to be correcting everything little thing he says. Hopefully, he'll get most of it right!

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For the most part, it's a safer bet to keep your head down and not correct the professor. It's better to be right and silent with a good grade, than right and boisterous with a teacher looking to fail you.


Any teacher that would fail you for that isn't ethical and doesn't deserve to teach.

This post has been edited by blackcompe: 10 September 2012 - 06:39 AM

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#4 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: My teacher said I could teach his class

Posted 10 September 2012 - 06:03 AM

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For the most part, it's a safer bet to keep your head down and not correct the professor. It's better to be right and silent with a good grade, than right and boisterous with a teacher looking to fail you.


I agree that you don't want to "correct" the teacher. It's rude and presumptuous to stand up and say "you're wrong", and it's always possible that the teacher is right and it's you that's missed a trick.

Rather than correcting the teacher, I suggest asking questions. If they suggest something that you think might cause problem P down the line, you ask "Professor Mumble, what about P?".
It might be that they've thought about P and they're trying to get at some other issue - and P will be addressed later - or it might be that they don't think it's a big problem, and they'll tell you why, or it might be that they haven't thought about the connection, or it might be that they're ignorant of P altogether. It could also be that you're wrong about about the situation, and P is not an issue at all, in which case you get to learn something - it's never a bad thing to have someone show you where you've been wrong, because when it's done, you're smarter than you were before.
All in all, it seems to me that asking them about it is more polite, and more likely to lead to an interesting conversation, which as a side benefit is likely to help the rest of the class think more deeply about the issues at hand.
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#5 blackcompe  Icon User is offline

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Re: My teacher said I could teach his class

Posted 10 September 2012 - 06:19 AM

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Rather than correcting the teacher, I suggest asking questions. If they suggest something that you think might cause problem P down the line, you ask "Professor Mumble, what about P?".


Exactly. This is more of what I meant. Politely ask a question in a way that subtly brings up the issue of misdirection or misinformation. If the professor says something like "Java is a functional language," it's best to not say anything. You know that's wrong. On the other hand, if you feel like he said something wrong and you're trying to get some self-clarification, speak your mind.

This post has been edited by blackcompe: 10 September 2012 - 06:41 AM

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#6 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: My teacher said I could teach his class

Posted 10 September 2012 - 06:45 AM

View Postblackcompe, on 10 September 2012 - 08:19 AM, said:

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Rather than correcting the teacher, I suggest asking questions. If they suggest something that you think might cause problem P down the line, you ask "Professor Mumble, what about P?".


Exactly. This is more of what I meant. Politely ask a question in a way that subtly brings up the issue of misdirection or misinformation.



Exactly that, very well put.
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#7 baavgai  Icon User is online

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Re: My teacher said I could teach his class

Posted 10 September 2012 - 07:07 AM

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I've taken many classes that I could teach. For my job, I often get training in things I already do. Your job, as a student, is to be the best student you can be. If you don't know the material, then you're a regular student trying to absorb what's being taught. If you already know what's being taught, your job is harder, but can still be fun.

The best thing you, the super student, can do for everyone in the class, is to make the instructor look like a super star. You do this by asking questions you already know the answer to, but feel that the answer should be given to the class. You don't say "yeah, but instances and objects are the same thing." Rather, you ask, "What's the difference between an instance and an object?" This will keep you awake in class. You also learn other ways for expressing ideas you already know.

Pay attention to TV hosts. It's their job to be the perpetual noob. They ask leading questions that even a fifth grader could answer, and the expert guest gets to show off their knowledge. Because, sadly, they know a large part of the viewing audience ain't smarter than the fifth grader. Also, expert guests can know a lot and suck at expressing it. The ability to understand and the ability to teach that understanding are two very different things.
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#8 NecroWinter  Icon User is offline

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Re: My teacher said I could teach his class

Posted 10 September 2012 - 07:28 AM

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Any teacher that would fail you for that isn't ethical and doesn't deserve to teach.

couldnt agree more. Teaching is about education in an academic sense, not education in fearing "authority." (Not that college professors really have any power over anyone besides grades, which can be contested)

most professors ive seen dont mind being corrected, as it creates an open dialogue and gets people thinking about programming in a real way.
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#9 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: My teacher said I could teach his class

Posted 10 September 2012 - 07:28 AM

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The best thing you, the super student, can do for everyone in the class, is to make the instructor look like a super star. You do this by asking questions you already know the answer to, but feel that the answer should be given to the class.


I keep pushing the "+1" button, but it'll only fire once, which is totally not enough for this post.
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#10 Sergio Tapia  Icon User is offline

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Re: My teacher said I could teach his class

Posted 10 September 2012 - 07:44 AM

View Postbaavgai, on 10 September 2012 - 10:07 AM, said:

The best thing you, the super student, can do for everyone in the class, is to make the instructor look like a super star. You do this by asking questions you already know the answer to, but feel that the answer should be given to the class.


Post of The Year. :punk:
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#11 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: My teacher said I could teach his class

Posted 10 September 2012 - 09:46 AM

I have been told that I could teach their class several times. One time I actually did. But as others have said it is rude to keep correcting the teacher even if they are wrong. You know they are wrong, so only the other students are losing out if they don't know he/she is wrong.

What usually happens in programming classes is that the other students will try to program according to the teacher and find their programs riddled with errors. They will naturally gravitate towards you when they realize your programs work flawlessly. This is usually the time to offer some tutoring for cash.

I have made so much money during my classes it isn't funny. :)

P.S. I know this has probably helped the cut and paste programmers rise to prominence, but I figure I could also shine and make money on the other end by saving a company's ass from what these programmers do. So far the plan has worked out well.

This post has been edited by Martyr2: 10 September 2012 - 09:48 AM

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#12 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: My teacher said I could teach his class

Posted 10 September 2012 - 09:48 AM

Correct your boss, constantly, & see how long you keep your job.

No one likes a wise ass.

There is a right way & a wrong way to do everything. Knowing your instructor is wrong also says that he's replicating incorrect procedure to the entire class. & if you think about this, it's actually in your favor because everyone graduating is getting invalid material, & taking that to the working world where they will be your competition for jobs.

Why bring the competition up to your level?
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#13 TwoOfDiamonds  Icon User is offline

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Re: My teacher said I could teach his class

Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:05 AM

View Postno2pencil, on 10 September 2012 - 07:48 PM, said:

Correct your boss, constantly, & see how long you keep your job.

No one likes a wise ass.

There is a right way & a wrong way to do everything. Knowing your instructor is wrong also says that he's replicating incorrect procedure to the entire class. & if you think about this, it's actually in your favor because everyone graduating is getting invalid material, & taking that to the working world where they will be your competition for jobs.

Why bring the competition up to your level?


I agree, but what if there is a certain reason for which the teacher does things that way and you're missing it because you're not asking ? just like jon.kiparsky said
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#14 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: My teacher said I could teach his class

Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:32 AM

A.) Then you ask, don't tell. (not to be confused with don't ask don't tell)
B.) Ask after class, so it isn't infront of everyone.
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#15 TwoOfDiamonds  Icon User is offline

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Re: My teacher said I could teach his class

Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:45 AM

View Postno2pencil, on 10 September 2012 - 08:32 PM, said:

A.) Then you ask, don't tell. (not to be confused with don't ask don't tell)
B.) Ask after class, so it isn't infront of everyone.


That makes sense , thanks .
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