Comments: Reflecting from the other side of the fence

Good luck. I'm trying to teach my young ones that and I wonder some days if it will ever sink in!!!!

Posted by vw bug at May 14, 2007 05:00 PM

heh. Yeh, but, the class I aced this past semester was the class I repeatedly told my professor (called him by his first name) I would not be buying the text book or doing any of the review questions out of the book. You can't do that with everyone, though, just the ones you have rapport with.

Posted by wRitErsbLock at May 14, 2007 05:50 PM

Of course when I went back to school (as an adult student) in the computer science department. The department head tried to talk me out of the particular major emphasis I wanted to work on. I was doing CS - theoretical. It seemed to cover all the bases I wanted and had classes in the areas I was interested in learning...

He did the equivalent of pat me on the head and say "there, there little girl, this might be a wee bit too hard for you..." ARG! Lucky for him I was polite. I wanted to slap him, but I smiled and said, I realize this is a difficult area of concentration, but it's what I want to do.

In all the time I was there (5 years because I could only go part time) I NEVER met any other person who was told that the major might be "too difficult" for them!!! I'm still pissed about that. I little respect from him would have gone a long way in making me a happier student. It also helps in the donation department, when the school comes back and begs for cash. Why should I donate to a place that didn't think I should've been there in the first place? The only reason I stayed was because it was the only program I could afford - story of my life.

Posted by Teresa at May 14, 2007 05:51 PM

You could give short quizzes at the start of class every day, on the material the students were supposed to have read. That's a fair way to assess a participation grade, it encourages them to keep up with the reading, and it gives you a sense of who is making an effort and who you shouldn't give more than the bare minimum of assistance to.

For the record, I hate participation grades, and I don't read for my classes. I download notes from the internet and buy study guides online. I'm gonna be the best lawyer ever. I don't care about any of the classes I'm in because I want to work in a narrow specialty and none of this is going to matter, ever, except insofar as the Bar is concerned.

Posted by Daryl Herbert at May 14, 2007 10:33 PM

I'm IT staff at a state university, and I feel your pain. "I have a paper due tomorrow, I have to email it in, and I don't know my account id, or my password, or how to use Word, or email, or send attachments. DO IT FOR ME SO I WON'T FLUNK!"


Posted by Jenna at May 15, 2007 07:34 AM

I'm so with you on this topic. I followed all your rules to a T and was valedictorian of my high school and a cum laude graduate of my college (which was highly competitive). I don't know why people don't get this. And I try hard to teach my kids these rules.

Unfortunately, my kids seem to have really absorbed the manners part and the homework part, but somehow the whole how to be successful in test taking seems to have eluded them. Maybe you can do a post on that next!

Posted by Anita at May 15, 2007 09:07 AM

Has it crossed your mind to tell your students that? To throw them out of the classroom when they violate your rules by texting in class? If you tolerate it, you will only get more of it.

Yes, they will call you a bitch. Yes, students (male and female) are sexists who don't really think you are a professor because you are female. Read
if you have not seen it before. It is a problem that female faculty are not accorded the same respect as male faculty, but unless your students become a lot less conservative in their thinking, you have to learn to live with it and slowly adjust their minds to the reality that *you* are in charge of your classroom.

One of our faculty locks the door when class starts. No one shows up late for her class.

Posted by CCPhysicist at May 15, 2007 10:28 AM

Believe me, I HAVE done it. And I am THE NUMBER ONE BITCH in our program, according to them. But they still don't get it. In large part because their other instructors are far "nicer"...

Posted by caltechgirl at May 15, 2007 10:30 AM

preach on, sister.

I don't so much get the being-called-by-first-name thing (at least most of the students here have SOME respect), but two things I wish my students were aware of:

1. Making what you think of as "clever" comments in class generally does not endear you to me. There is an exceedingly fine line between "clever" and "smart-ass" and too often, students of the current generation think they are being clever or witty when they are actually just sounding like annoying a-holes to the prof.

Also, please refrain (if you can) from making "obvious" jokes. You know how when you're at the supermarket, and something you're buying won't ring up, and you're tempted to tell the checker, "Oh, ho ho, maybe it's free today?" Well, she's heard that line probably 15 times already that day.

it's the same way in class - if there's low attendance on a given day, do NOT jokingly ask the prof if he or she's going to give you bonus points for showing up. Trust me, that line wasn't funny the first time I heard it, during my first week of teaching some 8 years ago.

2. Please, for the love of all that's holy, AT LEAST read the lab assignments before coming to lab. Even if you read nothing else for the class. The very reason I write them out "cookbook" format - step by step - is that so if you've read them, you can go through, STEP BY STEP and check off each step as you accomplish it - no forgetting to do something, no frantic asking of the prof or TA "What do I do now?!?!" There are 24 of you in lab, and one of me and one TA. We cannot hold each one of your hands. In some cases we are doing borderline dangerous things and I expect you to have read enough to be safe!

Posted by ricki at May 17, 2007 07:14 AM

1 - I can't believe the way these kids talk to me. Do they not recognize that I am one of their professors? Do they not have any respect for my position or the impact I can have on their future careers? ~ power trip?

2 - DO introduce yourself to your professor and ask any questions you would like answered. ~ isn't my name on the student roster enough?

3 - DO be timely in responding to any communication from the school you will be attending ~ does last minute count?

4 - DO purchase your class materials and texts ahead of time ~ of course... any leftover money can be spent as quickly as possible...

5 - DO arrive at class on time, with your notebook, and ready to listen ~ I'm good at pretending to listen

6 - DO NOT eat, check your email, or text your friends in my class. This will NOT help you get a good grade. Listening and taking notes will. ~ since when does an impression determine scholastic performance? I thought tests did that.

7 - DO NOT ask me for extra time because you are confused. No one else is. ~ perhaps they GET it, depending on the class... mathematics, yes... sociology, no...

Posted by Thomas Warlock at May 17, 2007 07:48 AM