Is it always the teachers fault?


So my professor today said something that really bothered me. He was blabbering on about why some of us did badly on our essays (yes I do feel the word blabber is appropriate in referring to him) and one of the main reasons was that students did not cite properly. Now I get that this is important to do (painfully boring but important) and that at a University level students should be able to grasp this comment. That part wasn’t what bothered me, it was more along the lines of this (and it’s not an exact quote)

I don’t blame any of you I blame your teachers for never teaching you this. In fact if I wrote the P word on your paper you hsould go back to your high school English teacher and yell at them for not teaching you properly. And if you are too scared to give me their name and I will because I’m getting awfully sick of students not being able to cite properly.

Now, yes I agree some teachers need to do a better job of teaching this concept. However, I had teachers who taught this over and over and over until I was ready to scream but the kids in my classes still wouldn’t do it. I think that it is very likely that at least some of these kids were just too lazy to bother with proper citations and thought it wouldn’t be a big deal.

And for those who didn’t know/remember how to cite, this is University and as a student at this level I think it is your own responsibility to read the instructions for the assignment, notice that you need to cite properly and find a guide to follow or ask for help at the writing centre. On top of that everyone has to take English 100 in their first semester and you would have to have cited at some point in that class and been taught how to if you did not do so properly.

Now I get that some of these students probably did have pretty awful English teachers in high school and may not have learned citation but that doesn’t make their inability completely the teachers fault. Most University students are legal adults and should be capable of finding ways to learn the necessary skills. I think what my professor said was totally inappropriate and insulting to me, my fellow students and teachers everywhere.


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