Unprofessionalism in Education

We’re gonna play a little game today. Yep. You and me. I’m going to write a quote here that took place at school the other day, and you’re going to guess who said it. Okay? Great!

“So Elise emails me this question the other night, asking me about complications of placenta abruptio. (laughs) Seriously? How do you not know this? Like, really? How about bleeding out, Elise? That’s gonna be a pretty big problem pretty quick if you don’t see what’s so wrong with having placenta abruptio. I can’t believe she asked me that.”

You probably have a decent picture in your head. Some mouthy nursing student (similar to ones I’ve previously posted about here and here) that has nothing better to do with her time than put down the others, most likely because she’s insecure herself. But you’d be wrong.

That quote was from one of our teachers.

That really grinds my gears. I am somewhat shy, but I used to be much much worse. Speaking from experience, shy people can get incredibly uncomfortable about asking questions in a public forum (ie, a classroom.) Why? Because we’re afraid everyone’s going to think we’re stupid. At least that was my fear. So emailing a question is a nice, private way of learning while successfully avoiding judgement. Right?

Wrong, apparently. I guess now it’s okay to make a mockery of a student by name–who fully intended to speak with you privately–and flaunt it to other students. I’m proud to say that none of the students in this room so much as chuckled. No one said anything. We all just stared at her, occasionally exchanged glances with others, and waited for her to finish her rant. When she was done, there was an instantaneous understanding amongst all the students in the room. We could never feel comfortable asking her questions without fear of her making fun of it to other students. Creating an environment that discourages questions from being asked is to essentially kill off the possibility of gaining a full and comfortable understanding of subject material. Inquiries are at the heart of learning. And now, everyone is afraid to ask. Super.

I’m completely disappointed and continuously discouraged every time something like this happens. To any of you educators out there, I am begging you…please never do something like this to your students. Ever.


  1. I would seriously consider reporting that to the someone (the dean, for example). That’s so utterly unprofessional and inappropriate that I can’t possibly imagine that it’s the only time it’s happened. Even if you only saw it once, report it so that if it happens again the administration can establish a pattern of behavior.

    • probietopractitioner says:

      I know for a fact it’s not the only time it’s happened. I’ve heard it probably a half dozen times already, never mind some of the other things that have happened/been said. Here’s my concern about reporting it now (as opposed to later)…if she is this unprofessional about things like this, what is there to stop her from holding this against me now? Being an EMT in nursing school doesn’t exactly garner favor to begin with…adding a complaint before I’m done with the semester seems like it’s just going to make everything that much more difficult.

      • If you report it to the dean, generally they make it an anonymous complaint. Do yourself a favor, and REPORT IT! I had this Faith and Reason teacher last semester (yes, I go to a Catholic school, unfortunately) and she taught us 2nd grade catechism – even had the videos for it too! I wish I reported it, but I used the class time for napping instead. She was a joke.

        I want to be an adjunct professor down the line, and quite honestly, if something makes you uncomfortable, raise the red flag to their supervisor (usually Dean/VP of Academic Affairs or Program Director).

        It is YOUR education. You deserve to have a professional one.

  2. Please report this. I spent 11 years as an 8th grade teacher, 6 years as a trainer at work, and 1 year (so far) as a paramedic instructor. I am ashamed that this woman calls herself a teacher. The educational environment MUST be safe. I first thought she might have been bitching to friends. When I saw it was to the class, I choked on my dinner. Appalling.

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