When educators go off duty


It is surprising how many people in this world treat their job as a burden. You may find yourself at a store and ask an employee for help only to be met with an attitude or the ever popular “I’m off duty now.” Or you may deal with a waiter who can barely be troubled to get you a drink. These, however, are only the minor annoyances, as these workers have little impact on your daily life besides providing a momentary inconvenience. It becomes worse when people who you rely on for your academic livelihood treat you as if you are a bother.

This editorial is not meant for the vast majority of professors at the University who are, for the most part, hard working, dedicated professionals who care about the students and subject they teach. You know these professors. They are the ones who give you their home phone numbers, who come in at night and during their free time to help you with material and who are virtually always available via e-mail.

There are, however, those among the ranks at the University who treat the students as if they are an albatross around their neck. They find themselves too busy with traveling and guest lectures to be accessible to their students, and seem irked when something as minor as an advising period or midterm gets in their way.

While it is great that the faculty at Villanova is so well renowned that they are able to hold book signings and travel to far away lands for lectures, professors should never lose sight of the fact that their ultimate job is to educate. Students are counting on them (and shelling out quite a bit of money) in order to get a quality education. One of the most wonderful aspects of this University is that the small class size means more personal attention. This should be embraced by both students and professors alike to facilitate both a sense of community and learning, but also a bond of learning and friendship that can only really exist in a classroom setting where students are not treated like a number.

For their part, students should show an active interest in learning. Many of these professors probably started out young and idealistic at one time, but when students treat a class like an obstacle, that idealism is lost fairly quickly. It is a two way street, and when you treat a class like a burden, odds are the professor will view you in much the same way. You become adversaries, standing in each other’s way rather than comrades, working together toward the common goal of education.