I have the worst teacher ever! Can I help her?

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I'm an Associate Professor in the sciences at a professional school w/ a grad program.  Due to a deal between schools, a course in a subject I need to learn is given only at the local cc.  So I'm also a cc student.

My (adjunct) prof. at the cc is driving me crazy.  She has not turned back a single homework or weekly quiz since the beginning of the semester, yet students are expected to correct their errors.  Inspection of Blackboard suggests that she hasn't graded any homework or quizzes yet.  So I guess it's our hypothetical errors.

Speaking of Blackboard, she has repeatedly guaranteed that she will post class materials that I personally _badly_ need on the site.  Without these materials, supplemental to the book, it is taking me NINE HOURS to do the homework.  I had to work in my lab Saturday and Sunday this week so needless to say my homework won't be done -- because the materials aren't on Blackboard by the 4th week of the semester.

Speaking of the book, it arrived late in the bookstore (well, that happens) and she wrote it and is beta-testing it on us.  It has errors.  It is clearly not complete.  She seems to expect the advanced students to edit it.  Boy, I finally understand why students complain about textbooks the professor wrote!

Oh yes, and adding things like a mandatory field trip or paper to the syllabus three weeks after the start of the semester.  Come on.

And finally, OMG in-class lecturing skills!  I can't go into it.  I already have a headache.  Let's just say that everyone in this class is teaching themselves.

So basically I'm as frustrated as any student who ever posted on this board.  Except...  I'm also a professor.  I'm wracking my brain to come up with some kind, constructive, diplomatic way to help her become a better teacher.  IS there such a way?  Can I mentor my professor?  I am so frustrated that I can't even think of a nice way to say, "I am never going to learn to do this correctly if you don't hand back my homework."  And I think she probably has a lot of other work to do besides teaching this class.

Fortunately, I know this forum is full of patient, skilled communicators.  Can you help me turn this around?

I'd be interested in knowing more about the "deal between schools" that you've mentioned, field_mouse.  You say you're an associate prof--does that also come with tenure?  Is your job in jeopardy if you fail to satisfactorily complete the CC course?  Your answer to that question might help determine part of the course of action that might be suggested here.

I'll refrain from making any other comments until I understand the situation more completely.

I have tenure and I can drop this course at any time.  I am considering doing so.  But then I won't have any chance to learn the material, which it would be beneficial to my research for me to learn.

I really want to learn this stuff!

Years ago, three schools in the same city decided, not stupidly, that they would not offer overlapping courses.  This is a complex deal, but the key point here is that the course I am in is the only one of its type available to me. 

So I'm guessing that you're in some sort of methods course that could be taught at the CC level? Have you checked Coursera or other MOOCs to see if something similar is freely offered that could get you this same training? What you're struggling through now sounds wretched, and if you're not required to complete this actual course I think it might be best to withdraw and try to learn this material some other way.

But you might have some influence or leverage that the undergraduates don't have.  A terrible course is a miserable experience.  I would go to her and lay out kindly and calmly what needs to happen for the course to succeed -- homework turned back, etc.  No doubt she has umpteen reasons and excuses, but that doesn't help the students.  If things don't turn around, I'd have a calm word with the chair.  If I were falling so far short of the mark in teaching, I'd want to be helped.  If a colleague were falling so far short, I'd want her to be helped.  And if I were a chair, I'd want to know about this.


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