The presence of toxic lecturers is a common problem in many universities and colleges.
As a graduate student, I’ve encountered my fair share of toxic instructors, including those who intimidate, demand favours in exchange for academic assistance, and who insist that students buy their handouts or course materials to pass their courses.
If you are currently dealing with a toxic lecturer, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and safeguard your academic reputation:
- Stay Calm and Objective: Maintaining your cool and approaching the matter logically and objectively will help you avoid overreacting.
- Document the Behaviour: Note any situation in which the lecturer’s actions are improper or troublesome. Keep note of the incident’s date, time, and location, not excluding any details.
- Seek Clarification: Ensure you clarify the lecturer’s actions and inactions to prevent miscommunication and wrongful claims. Voice your concerns without being confrontational, a peaceful dialogue could be the approach to resolution.
- Seek Mediation: Consider involving a mediator, such as a mentor or a student counsellor, if speaking with the professor doesn’t address the problem or if you feel uncomfortable doing so. This may make the conversation much easier.
- Contact the Department Head or Administration: If the situation continues and is having a negative influence on your education, you may consider contacting the head of the department or any academic administrator to report it. Provide all the supporting evidence you have gathered.
- Involve Student Organizations: In some cases, the student union or organisation can assist in promoting students’ rights and addressing problems relating to toxic behaviour in the classroom.
- Talk to Peers: Share your worries with your peers, many could also be experiencing similar issues. A group of affected students may present more compelling evidence against the accused lecturer.
- Consider Transferring or Dropping the Class: In extreme situations, if the situation is unresolved and negatively impacts your well-being you may need to consider changing or dropping out of the class and continuing at a later time.
Remember that everyone deserves a safe and supportive learning environment, so don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself when needed while maintaining focus on your academic goal.
Remain positive and assertive!
Researched by: Aduloju Oluwatoyosi Afolabi