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.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Differences Between The Classes

It is crazy how things can change. When I started teaching a group of High School Seniors Public Speaking, I quickly learned out how challenging it could be. While it was true that the students were coming to the college environment and they were getting college credit for the work, I found that there was a big difference between High Schoolers (even seniors) and College Students.

This semester, of the three classes I am teaching, I think I like the High School class the best. The class on the main campus has 22 students (actually now 21 as one withdrew). They can be a good bunch and discussions can be interesting. The problem is there are some talkers in that class. Stopping a lecture and staring at a student does not even do the trick any more. I actually came close to asking one of my college students to leave my class last week, because it got so bad. I have never done that as I feel college students are entitled to be treated like adults.

Then there is my class of traditional college students at the campus center. There are 14 students but two have apparently stopped coming. I am sure they will complain when they see their grade, but if you don’t show up, don’t expect to pass. Now the problem with this class is they just do not seem to care. All they are interested in is getting out early. When I try to get a discussion of the ground with them, it is like trying to get a hot air balloon off the ground that remains anchored. The things that other classes have always responded to, this class just gives me blank stares. In fact, when I graded the first speech for students in this class, I was a little harder than I normally am for a first speech. If they are not going to work with me and show me they are putting in the time and effort, I am not going to work with them.

This leaves me with my High School Seniors, the group that comes to the campus center. I have learned how to pull the reigns in on them a little more than other classes. Still, I treat them like adults because this is a college class and that is how they should be treated. I think they appreciate it and realize that most of their high school teachers do not treat them this way. So, for this semester, at least at the current time, this is the class that seems to be the most interesting and enjoyable to teach and the class that, on the whole, seems to be the most interested in learning.