This advice may come a little too late for the end of this semester, but just in time to mull over it during your holiday break and be prepared for the start of a new one! We've all had that one teacher- who we feel has a personal vendetta against us. The interactions are like oil and water, and your assignments are bleeding a sea of red ink . The professor seems constantly annoyed with you and you find yourself wishing that you could drop out of the class and pretend it never happened. BUT YOU CAN'T. So what do you do? Maybe we can help you in this post get to the bottom of it to avoid some pain in the future.
The first thing you need to do is take a good long look in the mirror. What we mean by that is, are you trying your hardest to be a good student? Are you showing up for class....on time? Are you participating in meaningful class discussion? Are you disruptive during class? Are you turning in assignments on time and making the full effort? Professors can tell when your efforts are not genuine, and this is usually the #1 problem that professors have with students. They become annoyed with students when they are putting forth the best effort, and the student is not reciprocating. It can also be seen as disrespectful. Make sure that you are being that good student first before we move on.
If you are truly putting forth your best effort, then take a step back and analyze the situation. Is there a language or culture barrier that could create a misunderstanding? This is very important, because mis- communication is the source of many problems between people. Make the effort to understand the other person and your efforts will usually break down any barriers.
If miscommunication is not the problem, then try empathy. Maybe the professor is having a difficult time in their personal life, and it really has nothing at all to do with you. If you are being singled out and you still cannot find any good reason, then arrange for a private meeting during the professor's office hours. Start the meeting with a very tactful approach, with something like, "I wanted to meet with you so that I could get your feedback on my performance in your class, can you help me with that?" By beginning the conversation in a non-adversarial manner and asking for the professor's help, you diffuse any tension there may be and are more likely to get to the root of the issue. If the professor is truly in this career to be an educator, then asking for feedback is the top job function that they strive to achieve. Genuinely listen to what the professor has to say, and make it known during class and your assignments that you are trying to make the changes suggested. It also never hurts to write a "thank you" email or note after the meeting to let them know that you value their suggestions and appreciate their time. Hopefully, with a little effort our suggestions can help you through a rough patch with a professor, and if not, then transfer if possible and chalk it up to bad luck! :o)