Nov. 4th, 2013

ajnabieh: The text "My Marxist feminist dialective brings all the boys to the yard."   (Default)
This is a mantra I tell myself: not all students are like me. I remind myself of it a lot. Not all students are like me: therefore, I should not be surprised that they balk at being asked to read 150 pages a week. Not all students are like me: they may not be interested in doing extensive research papers, so I should make sure that they have opportunities to do different sorts of final projects that allow them to meet the educational goals I have for the class. Not all students are like me: they may not abhor the idea of group work, so I can provide opportunities for small group work in class and on projects. Not all students are like me: they may not feel comfortable speaking up in class, so I should provide alternative means of participation integrated into the classroom.

Some of this is temperament: I was a future professor, of course I'm different from my students who may not be the types to want to read and write and do research all day. Some of this is opportunity: I was living on campus and away from family, working no more than 15 hours a week, in a very traditional university environment; I'm neurotypical, I studied in my first language, and in an environment that was culturally matched to my experiences and identities. My students are not like me, and if I assume they're like me, I'll structure my courses in ways that don't do them justice and don't help them master the material.

I think I've learned this lesson, but then again something hits me about. This week it's this:

Why do my students want to do the reading so damn early????

I was always a "do homework the night before" type. I still am; the evening before I teach, you'll find me curled up on the couch prepping, and not a minute earlier than that. (Sometimes, if I'm very organized, I'll start prepping for Monday's class on Saturday evening.) I plan my schedule week-by-week, and usually day-by-day. One of my classes is scheduled Wednesday/Friday; I don't even think about it until Wednesday morning, unless I have grading to do.

Except my students all seem to want to do their homework so far in advance. When I hadn't uploaded the entire semester's worth of reading in the first week of class (because I had to find time to do all the necessary scanning), they started getting antsy. I get emails about the readings for Friday's class on Saturday (asking details about how to write their reaction papers). Students have been bugging me about this Friday's reading since last Friday (and I legitimately couldn't tell them what it would be, because I hadn't chosen it yet--we're doing topics they generated at midterm).

I can't really be mad, because they want to be responsible and on top of things. But it's very hard to remember that not all students are like me when they're asking me to do things differently than I want to do them.

Deep breath. Not all students are like me. Time to upload more readings.


ajnabieh: The text "My Marxist feminist dialective brings all the boys to the yard."   (Default)
Ajnabieh - The Foreigner

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