Feb. 1st, 2013

deepjuju: (Default)
 So, maybe I mentioned it here, or maybe not, but last semester was a disaster. I was a mediocre teacher, my students were mediocre students, and the whole thing is an exercise I don't wish to repeat.

Mercifully, I'm not teaching this semester - though I feel a bit sad about it because I've always liked teaching. Turns out I don't like teaching entitled 18-year-olds who feel like they already know everything. I need to cultivate some kind of elitist attitude to live up to their expectations. Which I think is kind of odd considering that I assigned Jorge Luis Borges, Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, Chris Ware, Virginia Woolf, and James Baldwin (among others). These readings were not "challenging enough"  according to most of my freshman students. They expected more from a college course.

Whatever.

I want to think that they will one day realize that I treated them like thinking human beings and expected them to step up (which they sometimes did!). But I expect that they will continue on to whatever lives they plan to pursue with the notion that their first year writing class was a waste of time that taught them nothing, even if they continually admitted to the need for rereading and drawing on each other's understandings to make sense of what they were writing about.

In any event, I think I've discovered that I do not find teaching first year writing rewarding. My attempts to model were interpreted as narcissistic (talking about myself) and my attempts to accommodate their schedules were seen as evidence or weakness and/or favoritism. My sincere hope that they one day realize the value of what the read and wrote about i snot utterly unfounded. I have the occasional high school student or relative say (several years later, of course)  "oh my god, that's what you were telling me." The question is - should I stop trying to expect them to be smarter than they are and treat them as if they are as slow-witted as everyone else would have me believe?

I guess the answer is 'yes' if I want good evaluations.

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deepjuju

October 2013

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