Favoritism is something that all students are familiar with, whether they have experienced it first or second hand. Everyone can remember the annoyance with students that were “teachers pets” and who soaked up all of the attention from their professors.
Yet, in college, I have personally never experienced favoritism from a professor, or seen it happen. Here at university, I feel like the dynamic between professors and students feels different than it did in high school.
In this setting, we are adults and we tend to talk about our life experiences beyond those involving school and our education. I have found myself forming closer bonds with with professors because the school setting we are in has changed, and it feels less constricted and more open.
This being said, just because I have friendly relationships with my professors does not mean I have experienced favoritism. Being close with professors is beneficial because they become resources to turn to when help in class is needed or even when life becomes difficult.
“A pro about having a good working relationship with your professor is that they can be lenient with you when you have a lot going on outside of the classroom,” said freshman Julien Dagan. “The down side of that, though, is that it can be viewed as favoritism by your peers and other students.”
Professors should always remain neutral in terms of making friends with students. There is nothing wrong with being friends with your professor, but when it impacts the classroom dynamic, or the grading system, problems arise.
It’s important for professors to remain neutral, because if they have favorites in class it will be evident in how they treat their students. If they want to teach their class and provide a good learning experience, the professors should be impartial so that other students will not feel hesitant in going to them for help in the future.