An unfortunate turn for students attending college or a university is locking horns with a tenured professor who has not worked in the business or social realm for decades. Their views often can be harsh and demeaning toward anyone who is not willing to see things the way they do. Their stances is, " You either see it my way or its the highway".
You either see it my way or the highway.
As harsh as the above statement is, by not following it - it can equate to a student not getting a passing grade or a working recommendation from a department or dean. The philosophy and principles of business cannot be fully taught from a lecture podium. You may gain from learning about certain ideologies, but unless you have put your practice to the test, an ideology it shall remain. The business world waits for no one; and is in constant change.
The business world waits for no one, and is in constant change.
What I have found from my own experience is that professors who have held positions in the business economic sector, tend to be better versed in their styling and presentations. They speak from knowledge they have gained while working in an active business environment. They also tend to be more conservative in both speech and demeanor, and often have more engaged students. Their lectures are rich in culture and diversity, and filled with real-world experiences.
We all have our past university professors that have either encouraged or inspired us. I have to acknowledge a few from the Logan and Wasatch Utah areas: Dr. Scott Allred, Dr. Dwight Israelsen, and Dr. Ronda MenLove. While there were many others professors in the technological field in which I was involved, that is another story.
Dusty and the Crew at Graduation
It is hard to find instructors who have a strong background in business, as well as social, economic or political backgrounds. What we have to fear from academia are those professors whose ideologies have taken a more progressive stance, and refuse to adhere to common sense rules, and sound foundations. They often try to put the horse before the cart, by injecting too much of their own opinions and biases. Students miss out on valuable learning processes due to these inadequacies. While change is inevitable, teaching from a podium filled with one’s own personal opinions, while leaving out key concepts, defeats the purpose of academia.
There is a big difference between experience and opinion. We all have opinions, and we need to form them. But first we must be taught the smaller concepts so the horse doesn’t run us over right out of the chute.
Some things to consider while you are preparing your students to enter the chute of life:
- Practice discipline in oneself, and think before you say it
- Practice listening to your students, and not your own thoughts
- Try not to make up your mind before you have even heard what someone has said
- Your opinion is just that – an opinion. Until it is proved otherwise adhere to the tried and true
- Don’t destroy your students careers because you do not have the same viewpoint
- Don’t be afraid to admit when you are wrong, and you will be wrong
- A cushiony environment where you control all the elements – doesn’t necessarily equate to a happy environment.
- Listen to your staff. They are in the trenches, they report to you
- Remember, you are also expendable
- Respect differences, but don’t draw negative or positive attention to them
- You are not a student, it’s not your learning experience, it’s theirs. If you learn something in the process, you are probably an excellent instructor.