'Bullying' by lecturer affecting my confidence

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Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 13 years ago
#1
A bit of background: My uni allows second year students to sign up for third year classes as well, it's basically all about credits and as long as you've got enough and you are felt to be capable of doing the work then it's generally allowed. Last year (my second year) I signed up to take a third year class in the summer term that I was really, really looking forward to doing. It covered the area that I'm passionate about in detail and I was so excited about it. I went to see the head of department about it and he said it was fine, so I thought no more about it and just went along.

However, as soon as I started the class everything went wrong. Turns out that the teacher had put a block on second years in the class, but as I'd signed up so quickly I'd accidentally got through. The tutor was also annoyed that I hadn't asked her personal permission, but as I'd been to see the head of department and he hadn't said anything about it I honestly didn't know it was necessary. During the first class the tutor got incredibly angry because I was in the lesson, and basically nearly reduced me to tears, despite me trying to explain that I honestly hadn't known that there was going to be a problem. Eventually, because there were no other classes that I could take, I was allowed to stay but the tutor made it clear to me that I wasn't welcome.

At first I just thought 'well, I'll show her' and was determined to work hard so that she would see that I was able to do the class. The tutor seemed determined to make my life a misery though, ignoring me, giving me dirty looks and basically making my time in the class difficult. However, I just assumed that maybe I was being oversensitive, until other people in the class started to comment about what she was doing. I just gritted my teeth and stuck it, was early to every class and never missed a lesson, and basically tried not to give her any reason to dislike me. This went on for the whole term, and I can honestly say that I've never been so relieved for a class to be over. I know it probably doesn't sound like much but it really did get me down. I handed the assessment in and got a disappointing mark, despite literally spending twice the time on this essay. I don't mean to sound arrogant, but I *know* that I should have got a better mark - I've only once got less than a first in every class that I've taken, and comparing my work to my friends essays (who got much better marks) there honestly isn't any real difference ... However, as this mark won't affect my degree (much) I've tried to forget about it and move on, even though this tutor is still unpleasant to me every time she sees me, either glaring at me, deliberately ignoring me or treating me very rudely. Again, this isn't just me, as it's happened in front of my friends who were shocked at the way this tutor acted.

I know it sounds stupid, but this all affected my confidence to the degree that I'm now finding it hard to write essays, as I feel that whatever I do I'm not going to get marks that reflect the work I've put in. It's also made me more anxious in classes because I don't want to jeopardise my marks by saying or doing the wrong thing. I honestly don't know what I did to annoy or offend this tutor - I worked hard, did the readings, tried to contribute and really did try my best. After what happened, I feel like it's just not worth bothering anymore. I know it's stupid to get so worked up about just one class, but I just keep thinking that no matter how hard I work, if the tutor doesn't like me then my effort counts for nothing.

Sorry for the essay I'm just feeling down about this at the moment, and could do with some suggestions on how to get my 'academic' confidence back.
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Eblis_O'_Shaughnessy
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Maybe try re-reading your old work and realising that you've consistently and pretty much entirely produced first class stuff.

Also, I'm kind of curious; aren't your essays and assignments marked anonymously? Ours are, which ensures that favouritism and dislike of students isn't an issue.

Still, she sounds like a psycho-*****. I'd try to let the knowledge that there's nothing you can really do in a situation like that help you get over the confidence knock.
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*Mike*
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#3
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sounds like a ****** Tell the head of department what is going on and ask for your paper to be remarked.
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Sazarina88
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#4
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First thing - have you thought about reporting her behaviour? It sounds like you've got people backing you up about how disgracefully she behaved towards you.

In terms of academic confidence - you've done fantastically in all of your other essays so you're obviously doing something right. I know it's not going to be easy to forget the one mark that was below par but it's just that - one essay out of the many you've written/will write.

Could you perhaps talk to anyone at the Student Support Service at your university - you don't have to go into great detail about the situation but they might be able to help you with your confidence. Perhaps use your post as it may be hard to express what you're truly feeling verbally.

Everyone is likely to get knocked back at times, what matters is that you rise above it, realise that you are an intelligent student with the potential to achieve the top classification of degree.
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Anonymous #1
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Report Thread starter 13 years ago
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Thans for the reply No, our essays aren't marked anonymously, as every sheet has to have our name and student number on it. Also, our essays are marked by the tutor taking the class, and tend only to be second marked if they're at a grade boundary or if they've got either a first or a possible fail.

Thanks too for the advice - I know it's daft to get worked up about it but it was a real knock, as you kind of expect that at uni it's your work that counts, not the personal opinon of the tutor.
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Sazarina88
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(Original post by Anonymous)
not the personal opinon of the tutor.
This won't be the only situation you find yourself in where someone's opinion shouldn't matter but does.

Even if the tutor didn't like you, you are/were in a professional, academic environment where she shouldn't let her opinion interfere with anything. This is why I would seriously consider going back to see the head of department about it all.
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Anonymous #1
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Report Thread starter 13 years ago
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I have thought about seeing someone about this, but tbh I'm really not keen on the idea. I'm an insignificant undergrad, she's a well-respected and published academic ... you get the idea lol. My uni is also the kind of place that doesn't really handle complaints well (there's also a policy that you're not really allowed to make anonymous complaints, and there's no way on earth that I want to confront this woman), and as I'm in my third year I don't want to risk doing anything that could jeopardise my marks and ultimately my degree.

But thanks for the support everyone. I've just got to try and forget it, and remember that I have done ok apart from that one class. It's just really difficult.
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MrRobert87
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Thanks too for the advice - I know it's daft to get worked up about it but it was a real knock, as you kind of expect that at uni it's your work that counts, not the personal opinon of the tutor.
Its not daft all. Her behaviour is totally unreasonable, unproffessional and frankly dispicable. You should certainly report her behaviour as its putting a downer on your degree and whole university experience.
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Bismarck
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I have thought about seeing someone about this, but tbh I'm really not keen on the idea. I'm an insignificant undergrad, she's a well-respected and published academic ... you get the idea lol. My uni is also the kind of place that doesn't really handle complaints well (there's also a policy that you're not really allowed to make anonymous complaints, and there's no way on earth that I want to confront this woman), and as I'm in my third year I don't want to risk doing anything that could jeopardise my marks and ultimately my degree.

But thanks for the support everyone. I've just got to try and forget it, and remember that I have done ok apart from that one class. It's just really difficult.
Nonsense. The uni's reputation depends on how its professors treat their students. There should be a student representative who you could take this to who could advise you about how to proceed with this matter.
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Sithius
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#10
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Report her. She sounds like an insecure little cow.
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bacteriophage
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#11
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You have to report her, what she's doing is just ridiculous! I can't believe someone in her position would do something like this...
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Speleo
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#12
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Definitely make an appeal. She might know that you are, but so what? She already dislikes you, and she can't start marking your work down any more if she's under review.
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~nat~
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#13
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I know it is easier said than done, but you're clearly not overreacting; this is obviously upsetting you. Speak to the Head of Department, and also enquire about going through an appeals system for the essay. It's not fair for this to be happening to you! All the best
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Anonymous #2
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come on down to the anti-bullying soc. there are people there who will help you out.
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andy_cole2
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essays get remarked if you get a first in them!
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Anonymous #1
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Thanks to everyone for the replies Realistically, I think I've left it too long to get the essay remarked, as this all happened before the summer break. Also, as long as I get high marks this year, it's possible that this mark won't count at all. Also, I'm a slightly older student and although I know that the way to deal with the would be to tell someone, it's a bit humiliating to have to go and tell the Head of Department that I feel like I'm being picked on, especially when I know that nothing really will be done.

Tbh, it's not really about the mark, and I've tried to forget all about the tutor - thankfully I won't ever have to take a class with her again. It's just that now I'm getting to the point where I *really* need to start concentrating on the assessments for this term, my confidence in what I do has been affected to the point that I'm finding it literally impossible to put pen to paper. I've always been a 'writers-blocky' kind of person, but usually I can get over it by just forcing myself to write until it starts to make sense lol. Now though, I just keep thinking that maybe whatever I do won't be good enough - aarrrggghh.
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Jagajo
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#17
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you should have reported her when she said you're not welcome instead of waiting for your essay to get marked by her. don't wait any longer, report her!
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Elements
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#18
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If there's a chance that something can be done and something positive can come out of all this upset, then you should take it. It affected you then and now it's still affecting your ability to do work, be more confident and have more self-esteem- all are very important. You wont get kicked out as you're a good student with great grades- it sounds as if there is no doubt that you will pass your degree really well from the results of your other work that you've been doing, and your sheer strength of courage and motivation to keep going, even when times are tough. Things like what this woman has done shouldn't have happened and are really unfair, I've been in similar situations so I really do empathsise. Please do something about it. If you do something about it then you will know that you have done all that you can with this issue, start to feel better and hoepfully work better too, you may also give others strength to stand up for themselves and be taken notice of if unfair practice is occurring again with her or elsewhere. What uni and subject are you reading for btw?
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Anonymous #1
#19
Report Thread starter 13 years ago
#19
Thanks Elements and sorry for bringing this thread back up. Knowing that people agree that her behaviour was out of order has given me a bit more confidence, and I'll definitely think about taking this further. I'm studying at a London uni doing a social sciences based course.
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Elisap
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#20
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Sounds like a narcissist. Don't let it mess with you. Look for the motive behind the behaviour and you see what is really going on. She sounds as though she is extremely controlling and has inferiority issues. Nothing to do with you. As for dealing with this, head over to a site called excelatlife and read about how to handle passive aggressive people. It is super smart! Basically you need to manoeuvre them so that they drop the passive part of their aggression and either own up to their hostility (which they try to avoid) or they will drop it. In this scenario, you were clearly not to blame and she should not take it out on you. ...maybe you were a pawn, and it is really the management she is angry at. Maybe they deliberately did not make some procedure - in order to stop 1st years entering- and she guesses this but takes it out on you because she can't take it out on a superior.
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