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.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

By The Books

When I was out of town this past weekend for my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah, I stayed with a family that had four children (they were nice enough to put us up). When the high school kids found out that I taught some college courses, they asked me if I had any tips when it came to taking classes.

While I certainly have my thoughts, I used the opportunity to talk about what I felt was the teacher’s obligation to make class interesting. I talked about the techniques that I used and they all seemed fascinated. I got the impression they longed for a teacher who would try some of the creative ideas I use in my class. It left me feeling a little sad that, at least with these students, they do not have teachers willing to try “new” things.

It sounded to me like these teachers all decided that if the student did not enjoy the class, there was something wrong with the student, not the teacher. I think looking to place blame entirely on one side is dangerous, however. I did say that I regret the straight laced student who takes a class with me. Naturally, I was asked, “Why”.

I explained that everyone has a different way of learning. Some students do better when everything is by the books and a standard method but that is not me. These high schoolers seemed to prefer a more non-traditional method. They would probably all enjoy my class.

Hopefully, those who take it this semester will enjoy it as well.