Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Teachers and Students

I was talking with my doctor yesterday and we were discussing adjunct teaching. The doctor also does some adjunct work. He expressed his views with me about students and teachers. It was interesting to hear someone else voice a perspective.

The doctor felt that while the quality of student may have deteriorated over the years, so has the quality of the teacher. When he talked about the quality of the student, he was not talking implying that students today are not as smart, he was suggesting they do not take as much pride in things as they once did. Students are often looking for shortcuts and there are students you try to work with who make it real difficult.

A few semesters ago a student of mine was unable to give 3 of the assigned speeches. Instead of telling me ahead of time about problems, the last day of the semester he told me about family problems. He then asked if I could extend the deadline for him to complete some of the projects. Usually I do not do this but he seemed genuinely interested. The problem was, there were no days left in the semester and I insist that my students give a speech to an audience. I told him he could give guest speeches in my class the following semester but the time apparently conflicted with other classes he was taking. I even gave him the option of delivering the speech in any other instructor’s class (with the instructor’s approval) and allowing that teacher to grade the speech. Guess what? He never did anything and still ended up failing the course.

As annoying as students can be, the doctor continued that teachers also do not put the necessary time in to their jobs. He was talking about how a syllabus has changed over the years and now they are done on computers and look nice and neat due to the word processing. The problem he pointed out was the content as they are not nearly as detailed as they once were.

I do not know if I agree with everything the doctor told me, but he definitely made some good points.