I swear to god. Class starts at 9:30 a.m. Not 9:35, not 9:38, not 9:45, not 10:00 a.m. If I can make it to class on time and be prepared, so can you. And, it ain’t even like the assignment is that many pages! If I can stay up all hours of the night and morning–I rarely get enough sleep–reading and preparing information for your sorry tails, the VERY LEAST y’all could do is open the goddamn book. I just don’t understand. Can someone please explain to me why this is so difficult for students to do? I just don’t know. Children today are just trifling. Do you hear me. Just trifling, and I want so much to say that to they faces, but I can’t do that because that ain’t professional. And I can’t give them no spankin’ neither, or else there’ll be lawsuits for days. But, I declare. I was talking to a fellow teacher who’d given her class an outline with her interpretation of the reading assignment. It was all there, ready and waiting for the student, but even that was too much for the student to prepare for class. One of the child’s peers even looked at her wondering what the hell was wrong she couldn’t open up the otuline the teacher provided and read that so she could sort of sound halfway intelligent in the class discussion.
It’s just days like this that I wish I’d followed my mother’s advice–she taught school for over 40 years before she threw in the towel–and taken a job at Burger King. At least I’d make more money flipping burgers, and I’d get far more engagement from the folks I’d interact with.
I’m a dual major, Chem Eng and Philosophy. I like comparing the two.
In an engineering class if you show up without your homework in hand and prepared to answer questions…you’re screwed. No late homeworks, participation grade shot. Attendance isn’t required, but if you aren’t in class, you will fall behind, and God help you at that point. Office hours are only so useful.
This opposed to Philosophy where you aren’t expected to really finish the eight pages of reading that were assigned. I was pretty culture shocked the first Phil. class I took, but now I just like to imagine what would happen to these wastrels in an engineering class.
I don’t really have sugesstions, just trying to be supportive.
Unfortunately, Celestina, I have to agree with you. The trifling attitudes of the other students was the single greatest disappointment I experienced in undergrad school. I was so looking forward to intellectual debate and discussion. Alas, it was not to be. (And I went to two private schools - one Jesuit! - and a large well-respected public school.)
It sucks for the serious student, too, because lack of participation and preparation on behalf of one’s classmates makes the class itself less challenging or interesting. I’m convinced that in the US there is an extended adolescence we no longer expect to end until one is out of college, and that partying on your parents’ tab is our rite of passage into “adulthood”.
I feel bad saying this, but when I was in college the only thing I cared about was doing assignments which had influence on my final grade, which usually only consisted of writing papers and taking tests. If attending class and participating in class discussions had no influence on my final grade, which the vast majority of the time was the case, it didn’t concern me. I hardly ever showed up for these classes. And why should I? Most of the teachers didn’t care one way or another. All of the information I needed to learn about the subject was right there in class assigned book(s). I graduated with a 3.3 GPA, so I obvioulsy learned something using this methodology.
Still, if I could do it all over again I would attend class and participate. Unfortunately I can’t do anything about it now.
Quit making sweeping generalizations knocking the US and find a better school to go to.
I got the boot from my undergrad school for exhibiting exactly the attitude decried in the OP (and almost exclusively in History/Philosophy courses, too), and they were right to do it. If you want serious participation and preparation, instead of partying, from your classmates, don’t go to Arizona State.
Here’s a complaint from a student who did the readings in undergrad. Know how boring it is to have read the material and have the prof spoon feed the same material to those who didn’t? In some cases, the notes I took from the readings were almost identical to the ones the professor gave in class. Classroom discussions were often limited because a) many didn’t have a clue about the material and b) discussion limited the time available to have the reading material read to you in class. My recommendation? Readings should cover different material than lectures. Test on both, and let the shit hit the fan.
I think one of my teachers is glad when people come in after 9:30 for her class. Because it used to be a class of 30 students and now there are about 9 students left. I don’t even know why they are leaving because it is an easy class.
I would be failing all my classes if they required participation because they all put me to sleep. I have a hard time sleeping at home, but the moment I sit down at a desk I am out like a light. As it is I’ll probably only have a 3.0 for this semester.
Quit making sweeping generalizations about specific schools first, please. It’s quite possible to find serious participation and preparation at schools which are traditionally known as “party schools”. (Arizona State specifically appears to have a large population of students who are serious about their schooling, but choose to go to Arizona State for reasons of convenience or cost.)
There are too many students who abuse the privilege (and a privilege it is) of education and ruin the privilege of learning for those who are serious about their education and come to class on time and prepared.
No symmetry? au contraire! I think there is an even greater reason for the students to get there on time…they are PAYING for the class! When I was in undergrad I made damn sure to be there, Hell each class was costing me hard earned money.
IMHO that is a much more compelling incentive than getting paid to be there.
[nitpick]if the reason is greater for students, there’s no symmetry[/nitpick]
I was under the impression, though, that celestina is a school teacher. School being mandatory, the rants by teachers who are there by their free will about how they care more than the students are, well, not very convincing. YMMV.
I agree that skipping/not preparing for classes at university is silly. Also, I confess to missing 50% of the morning classes this term. C’est la vie
My husband teaches at our local branch campus. He used to love to teach, but after moving to this town, he’s about ready to give it up entirely.
The students (over half of whom are adults) refuse to read the material. He chose a text which illustrated the concepts through stories rather than a dry one. This upset the students to no end. “Where are the bold-faced words?” “What am I supposed to * learn?”* The concept of reading comprehension was utterly foreign.
Even after spoon-feeding the material to them, over half of the students failed the first test. Frustrated, for the next test, he told them what topics the test would cover. There were still many failures. Most amusing of all was the fact that he used the same question, worded the same way, on every test, and there were quite a few people who got it wrong * every time! *
He always gives the tests to me before he gives them to the class, just as a comparison. Even knowing little about the subject, by reading the questions carefully and using logic, I can ususally get around a “C.” I was amazed at how many people failed the tests when, really, they weren’t all that difficult. It honestly seems like the students put no effort whatsoever into the course, but whined when they didn’t get good grades. I was astounded after the quarter ended, and the requests for “reviews” of their grades flooded in. One woman had skipped the final, failed another test, and never turned in her paper, but still insisted she deserved a “B.”
If he did as you suggested, every single student would fail, and, unfortunately, that would make him look like a bad teacher. You sound like a good student. He’d kill to have more like you in his classes.