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.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The High Schoolers

Both of my Public Speaking classes are now underway. As I indicated, the class made up of High School students always starts a few weeks later than the traditional college classes. This group of students seems like a good bunch, an intelligent bunch and an opinionated bunch.

This group of students also seems like a talkative group. This group of students also seems like an immature group. This group of students also seems like a group which may very well be tough to manage. They will certainly test me in a number of different areas and a number of different ways.

When I first walked in, about 5 minute before class was supposed to start (having set the room up earlier that afternoon), I was asked if everyone was there. Taking a quick head count, I noticed that I had one more name on my roster than students in class. I know that often times, on the first class session, especially for the High School students, I don’t have a complete roster when the course starts. I told them that, according to my list, we still had one more student. When the next student walked in, all the other students starting applauding. When three additional students walked in, one-by-one, as each one entered, s/he received an ovation. When the dean walked in to great the class, he received an ovation. It was a nice touch but also showed a rambunctious crowd who was going to do things its own way.

As I started some discussion, the students were willing and able to participate. They were also able to get off topic, talk over each other and have some side conversations. I did let them know this was unacceptable and will be putting an end to it. Still, as this second class gets started, it does remind me of the difference between High Schoolers and College students, even if there is only one year age difference between many of them.

Still, this is a class I enjoy teaching and I expect to, I KNOW I will, get through to them