As Thanksgiving approaches so do the deadlines. I just finished leafing through my students final paper rough drafts and you know what kind of crap they are pulling. Sentences like, “I’m only writing this sentence so that she doesn’t say anything.” Really students? Really little freshman? You have got to be kidding me.
As I stood at the front of the classroom reading the papers, I stopped to read this specific sentence aloud; a reminder– I’m not as dumb as I look. In the three years I’ve been teaching my students have done this a few times. I always catch them and I always call them out on it. I find it incredibly rude. Where do they get off? It is clearly their egos needing some stroking, look at how I pulled one over Ms. ,Mr., or Professor [insert name here]. Yes, aren’t you the slick little student.
Also, I noticed today as I stood in front of the class, the large quantities of apathy taking up space in the classroom. I was briefly giving comments on the small errors and issues I noticed the class had on their papers and they ignored me. It was as if I wasn’t even standing up there. Really? Of course, your papers are perfect. How could I have made such an error in suggesting some of your work needs improvement? Oops my bad.
I reminded them that I could easily just stop, cancel my office hours, and not help them. It was fine with me. They aren’t the only ones who are “busy” and “have problems.” No, we all do. We’re all students struggling to get to the end of the semester. Kiss my ass, Freshman.
This is the first time I’ve noticed my students not caring about my comments. Usually when I stand up to teach they are there with me. They hunger for my advice. They need more and more of it. What is happening? Have they given up their goals of getting an A? Frankly, I don’t really care if they don’t want A’s. What is it to me? If they don’t care, then hell, neither do I.
As much as I love teaching, and while I know I write a lot about students and how annoying they are, I really do love it. More times than not, I have a great time teaching. Both of my sections have great students who make me laugh and they take the time to show they care by attending my office hours. In general, they are good kids. The issue, I think, isn’t the actual students. It’s the month of November and all those damn Christmas commercials.
There is still a month and change for them to get through and all they are thinking about is the holidays. And, I hate to admit this, I’m guilty too. I’m ready to move, to eat lots of delicious Italian holiday food, and celebrate the new year. But, I’m still getting the work done, I’m focused.
Frankly, I wish the semester would come to an end already so I can get a new batch of students, a new job and start the new year.