What a terrible person I am

What I did today was perhaps the toughest thing I’ve done since I started teaching.

It’s not that I haven’t asked people to leave my class before; it’s not that I haven’t asked them not to come back for a while. It’s not even as if preparing for my classes has ever been a negotiable point.

It’s that after what happened yesterday, half the class still felt they need not read for today’s class. I’m not usually the rule-by-diktat type of teacher; I don’t think I can be. If nothing else, memories of my own undergrad days are too fresh for me to want to dictate terms.

But preparing for class seems to have become a bone of contention here. If it is a question of how and what I teach, there are ways and means to challenge my decisions. Just refusing to prepare is not an acceptable method. The point is that doesn’t seem to be it. They’re not challenging my teaching method here. They say it’s more a question of negligence – not being bothered enough. I’ve tried often enough to explain to them why they need to bother. If nothing, simply the quality of class discussion – which they can see for themselves – should’ve convinced them. If all the explaining, all the cajoling, all the threats, don’t work, I’m left with no option but to punish.

And the idea is not to set an example. If that were it, what I did with the earlier batches should’ve set an example to this one. It is just consequences of your actions. It’s part of growing up – learning to accept the consequences of your actions. I informed them of the consequences, they chose to take the risk. Now they have to take the consequences.

So why am I so upset?

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One Response

  1. As soon as we step on the other side of that fence, it’s difficult not to change. Both parties are probably right in what they do, profs in wanting the students to study, students, wanting to get away with the least. In the battle, students end up learning about half of what the prof intended, but usually enough to get them through in life.

    I was a five point someone, so will always be a student and will always have to side with them. “Not studying is my birthright.” 🙂

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