Comparing and Contrasting High School Teachers and College Professors

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Most people see teachers and professors in the same light. They perform similar tasks. They teach. However, they are separated by a fine line of distinction. High school teachers help a student build a foundation of knowledge, and train the student to focus on learning. College professors help to shape and define a student’s foundation of knowledge, and challenge the student to cultivate the mind. High school teachers and college professors have similar goals and guidelines, but they take a differing approach to achieving the end result. The way the class is conducted, academic expectations, and view of student responsibility are a few of the contrasts between high school teachers and college professors.

A high school class and a college class are conducted in different ways. In high school, teachers exercise control over the flow of information, while college professors encourage the student to seek out pertinent information. Throughout the year, a high school teacher will remind the student of upcoming due dates and assignment requirements. If a student misses a test or homework assignment, the teacher will provide missing notes or study guides so that the student is kept up to date with the rest of the class. For example; when I was in high school, I missed a week of school to go on vacation with my family. My mother spoke with my teacher before we left and he agreed to let me turn in my homework when I returned to class. Furthermore, my teacher allowed me to make up the single quiz that I missed during my absence. Neither the late homework, nor the missed quiz reflected in my grade. A college professor would have made me choose between a good grade and a vacation with my family. In contrast, the college professor...

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...udent to monitor their own progress and find solutions to problems as they arise. A college professor will not listen to excuses, nor will the consequences of failure be withheld. For example; I failed a math final by a mere six points, but the rules dictate that a c minus is not passing. It was my responsibility to realize that I needed help with math before I took that final. I had to face the consequences and take the course again.

A high school teacher provides a foundation of knowledge in preparation for the higher expectations of college. The college professor works to encourage independent learning, critical thinking, and self reliance. High school teachers and college professors may have differing points of view, but both affect the world as a whole. Henry Adams once said “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.’

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