Incompetent Programming Teacher

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72 Replies - 6652 Views - Last Post: 08 February 2011 - 11:19 AM

#1 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Incompetent Programming Teacher

Posted 09 January 2009 - 08:14 AM

Currently, I am a high school sophomore enrolled in a specialty center for Information Technology at my high school. Students are required to take Geometry Honors (if they haven't already taken it), and a project management class. In addition to these classes, I've gotten special dispensation to take the Introduction to Java class because I am already fairly proficient in Java. Unfortunately, the same teacher teaches both these classes (Project Management and Java), and I have in 2 blocks in a row. This teacher is utterly incompetent, and only teaches us "That Exists!" in project management. In Java, he can kind-of teach the syntax, but he can't teach logic, and doesn't know the vocab./reserved words. For example, he defined the reserved word private as causing a method or field to be invisible to everything.

Before winter break, he gave my Java class the option of writing a program or taking a test. The people that couldn't figure out the program (3/4 of the class) took the test and scored between 45-77. I looked at the test, and I thought it was easy (as was the program in my opinion), but that didn't send up a red flag to the teacher that he wasn't teaching. If I haven't said so already, I already am familiar with 3/4 of the curriculum for my Java class, and I'm making 95+ in both those classes.

I've talked to the Center chairman as well as my guidance counselor about this, and she got the administrator overseeing the center involved. However, my parents think I should just deal with him and try not to make an enemy of a teacher. Frankly, I don't care if I piss him off or not because I already know most of what he's teaching and I can teach what I don't know to myself.

What do you all think I should do?

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#2 Gloin  Icon User is offline

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Re: Incompetent Programming Teacher

Posted 09 January 2009 - 08:23 AM

It might be that you think this is easy and feel that you want a higher level of difficulty but the teacher is likely following a plan with well-defined requirements for passing the course. He probably wants to stick to these requirements to allow as many people as possible to pass the course (In Sweden a course recieve government funding based on how many people pass the course). The point is, he can't make the course more difficult because he is preassured to get as many people as possible pass (with adequate knowledge).
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#3 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: Incompetent Programming Teacher

Posted 09 January 2009 - 08:29 AM

Plus its high school.
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#4 bflosabre91  Icon User is offline

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Re: Incompetent Programming Teacher

Posted 09 January 2009 - 08:29 AM

sit back and get your A for the class. who cares if you think you know more than your teacher. you prob do but the fact is that he gives u your grade. take the class, move on, and be done with it. its only high school. your not going to get a career programming job from taking a high school programming class. wait til you get to college, then start complaining your teachers dont know enough.
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#5 JackOfAllTrades  Icon User is offline

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Re: Incompetent Programming Teacher

Posted 09 January 2009 - 08:40 AM

Quote

In Sweden a course recieve government funding based on how many people pass the course


Holy CRAP, does THAT sound like a bad idea! Does anyone ever actually fail?
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#6 5thWall  Icon User is offline

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Re: Incompetent Programming Teacher

Posted 09 January 2009 - 08:59 AM

I agree with the above. It's just high school, don't sweat it to much.

If you're bored, then there are two things I'd suggest. First: overachieve. Whatever the assignment is, go above and beyond. Do the assignment once normally, once with the fewest lines of code possible, one with the most. Work on the UI, add another feature.

Second: tutor the other students. If your teacher doesn't explain things well then maybe the other students are struggling because of it (chances are there are a fair number struggling even if he was the best Java teacher on the planet). Maybe explaining things differently will help them get it. Maybe helping them will give you the answer to why the class is so slow and dumbed down (and see The Camel Has Two Humps in JackOfAllTrades' sig). ;)

This post has been edited by 5thWall: 09 January 2009 - 09:01 AM

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#7 BigAnt  Icon User is offline

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Re: Incompetent Programming Teacher

Posted 09 January 2009 - 09:05 AM

See, at least the teacher tries to teach. In my VB6 class when i was in high school the teacher said here is the book, read pages __ to __, do programs X,X, and X. Any questions ill be around.
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#8 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Incompetent Programming Teacher

Posted 09 January 2009 - 09:17 AM

I'll probably end up doing that. The thing is though, he obviously BSes his definitions and I see him right now looking at his Java book in class when teaching about basic methods. I understand this is an Intro class, and though I am bored with the material, I feel frustrated that he also ignores my comments. Like if he's presenting code in class, he may have an O(n^2) solution, and I'm like let's try this it could make the efficiency O(n). Well, at least next year I get to take AP Computer Science, where the teacher also tries to prepare us for Java certification.
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#9 ayman_mastermind  Icon User is offline

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Re: Incompetent Programming Teacher

Posted 09 January 2009 - 09:21 AM

lol, the high school i was in and almost all high schools in Lebanon do not even teach computer programming :S the most that computer teachers taught us was HTML :P , this is the case with all high schools here, they really suck , i had to learn computer programming (started with QBasic) all by myself... Even now in university, i had to take a required course(for all majors) in computer literacy :S :S as if i didn't know what computer programming or Operating Systems were , i usually slept every time in class but its okay, i have passed the course easily... and now i am taking some good courses in JAVA programming with some good teachers and taking good grades since i already new Programming in JAVA before entering to university, after all, the main point inteaching computer programming in high school is to allow students to be more familiar and comfortable with computer programming courses in university... :)

This post has been edited by ayman_mastermind: 09 January 2009 - 09:24 AM

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#10 gl3thr0  Icon User is offline

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Re: Incompetent Programming Teacher

Posted 09 January 2009 - 10:42 AM

or... do what i did... get ur community service hours by teaching the class :D
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#11 ayman_mastermind  Icon User is offline

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Re: Incompetent Programming Teacher

Posted 09 January 2009 - 11:02 AM

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or... do what i did... get ur community service hours by teaching the class biggrin.gif

Nice idea... ;) i guess they would give me extra financial aid for that :P

This post has been edited by ayman_mastermind: 09 January 2009 - 11:03 AM

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#12 homemade-jam  Icon User is offline

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Re: Incompetent Programming Teacher

Posted 09 January 2009 - 01:50 PM

At least you get taught computing at your school! I don't even get the option - I got ECDL at 16 (particularly easy and tedious) and that's it!
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#13 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Incompetent Programming Teacher

Posted 09 January 2009 - 05:31 PM

View Posthomemade-jam, on 9 Jan, 2009 - 12:50 PM, said:

At least you get taught computing at your school! I don't even get the option - I got ECDL at 16 (particularly easy and tedious) and that's it!


It's a double-edged sword: if computer science/programming is going to be taught, then it needs to be taught correctly AND well. Otherwise, the teacher is simply turning students off to programming and computer-related fields, as is happenning in my class. Most of the students say Java is useless and sucks. That is true about the teacher, but not the language.
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#14 Gloin  Icon User is offline

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Re: Incompetent Programming Teacher

Posted 09 January 2009 - 05:47 PM

View PostJackOfAllTrades, on 9 Jan, 2009 - 07:40 AM, said:

Quote

In Sweden a course recieve government funding based on how many people pass the course


Holy CRAP, does THAT sound like a bad idea! Does anyone ever actually fail?


Well of course this is not optimal but naturally there are still requirements on the exam to be on an adequate level. The schools do NOT just let anyone pass.


View Postmacosxnerd101, on 9 Jan, 2009 - 08:17 AM, said:

I'll probably end up doing that. The thing is though, he obviously BSes his definitions and I see him right now looking at his Java book in class when teaching about basic methods. I understand this is an Intro class, and though I am bored with the material, I feel frustrated that he also ignores my comments. Like if he's presenting code in class, he may have an O(n^2) solution, and I'm like let's try this it could make the efficiency O(n). Well, at least next year I get to take AP Computer Science, where the teacher also tries to prepare us for Java certification.


There's usually a reason for learning a method that isn't optimal. Either because it has similarity with other methods that cannot be improved (complexity wise) or because they introduce a natural step to learning the improved method.
If you already know all he's teaching there's nothing stopping you from staying ahead by reading material from college, right?
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#15 cfoley  Icon User is offline

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Re: Incompetent Programming Teacher

Posted 09 January 2009 - 06:03 PM

Often the O(n^2) algorithm is conceptually easier than the O(n) algorithm. Remember the class is only introducing people to the subject. My experience of programming 101 classes is that they are full of a lot of people who find programming difficult, who don't want a career in it and don't want to study it further in school.

Another thing to consider is the marking scheme. When I was at uni, 70% was a first class honours which makes 77% pretty damn good. Of course, the scale might be different in your school.
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