Friday, September 15, 2006

Is it just me?

I don't know what to think about my students anymore.

I used to, and still do, think of the vast majority of my students (I'm talking about 95 out of 100 here) as

1. uninterested in most things apart from getting the most out of giving as little as possible,
2. unable to string a proper sentence together in front of a class without resorting to hiding behind embarrassing giggles or sweating profusely
3. unable to read any English article or book chapter more than 4 pages
4. they are just bloody hopeless, man. I mean, really.

There might be one or two or even three if I am lucky, each year, who seem interested, who believe that university education is not just about getting the fuckin' degree on that sheet of paper and hopefully getting a job that will pay them a lot of money without them having to do very much. They are intellectually honest, not afraid to put in the work, and are not complacent when they are rewarded with awards and praises. I can count with both hands how many I've come across in my 9 years of university teaching.

And some of them have gone onto bigger and brighter things - things that make me proud. A couple have reinvented themselves from college slackers into quite prominent names in the social movement scene. Some have done well in business and commerce.

But most of them, they really are bloody useless. I just want to slap them in the face repeatedly and shake them vigorously. Yes, I get that angry. With large classes, it is even worse. The larger the class, the less comfortable it is for students to speak up. The less they speak up, the more passive they become. The more passive they become, the more irritated I get. It really gets me going.

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