Tough Teachers – A response to the weak minded on RateMyProfessor

photo: The New York Times

To this day, I will never forget my first encounter with Professor Quatroche, nor will he.

Prior to my time abroad, I was a person who continued saying they would pull their crap together and become the student, the individual I wanted to be, but I never followed through. Finally, I returned to the states with a new determination..only to show up a few minutes late to class. Lucky me that I had a nice, easy-going teacher right? WRONG. With one glare, that dude burned me deep into the ground. Not to mention that every time I attempted to correct a mistake I’d made, I ended up digging myself into a deeper hole. I was mortified, but I decided to try for a fresh start at the end of my next class with him.

To my surprise, he smiled and gladly shook my hand as I re-introduced myself. From that point on, I made sure to be on time, to prepare for each lesson, quiz, and exam, and to push my limits.

A few important factors that make Quatroche a great teacher:

  1. He’s crystal clear about what he expects from you as a student throughout the entirety of the semester. Exams, quizzes, homework, papers, projects. This was all explained on day one and he continued to remind those who may have forgotten or who obviously weren’t listening.
  2. All of the information we needed for specific assignments, quizzes, and exams could ALWAYS be found in the exact chapters and handouts he’d tell us to refer to. I could never stand the educators who’d have their students running around like chickens with their heads cut off in search of the necessary material.
  3. He cares. In my personal college experience, I rarely encountered a teacher who gave so much of a damn about their students the way that Quatroche did. I know he can be a little rough around the edges, but if you look beyond the initial “rudeness” as people like to call it, you’ll see immediately that his intentions are to ensure that his students walk away with some newfound knowledge. The world is filled with idiots and he doesn’t want us to become one of them. He wants us to learn and he wants us to be successful.

I slipped up on a quiz one day and he held me back after class for it. He looked me in the eye and said, “you’re an A student, don’t let me see this again.” I finished that course with an A. We keep in touch and he recently mentioned that he still feels bad about the way he treated me on that first day of class, but I don’t.

To this day, I will never forget my first encounter with Professor Quatroche because in my 22 years of schooling, he’s one of the best teachers I’ve ever known, and he’s changed my life for the better. Plus he’s got awesome taste in music and he’s a Mets fan!

Thank you Quatroche. As you’ve said to me, you’re a rare gem that will only polish.

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