Friday, November 14, 2008

You know it has been a bad day when you return home exhausted and agitated. A growing sense bitterness toward the world bites at you. If it latches on, tenaciously clamping down, it drains you from one day to the next. You begin to dislike the ordinary day-to-day tasks and you begin to have a strong distaste for the ongoing stories and excuses that others make. The anger makes its way through your body. Affecting each organ like a poison, it retards your thoughts and thins your blood. Your patience grows thinner and you feel as if there is nothing truly worthy of your time. If resuscitative action isn't taken soon, it will consume you whole.

Lately, I've been more angry than usual. While school has been fine, I've noticed that my patience for my students in one of my classes is incredibly thin. Although I have tried to be positive with them, I can't help but feel embittered by their manipulative attempts to slips assignments past me or to try and talk their way into a better grade. While I have taken action to combat this in the form of dressing up and returning to a strict demeanor, it doesn't seem to be working. They don't seem to understand that when I say something is meant to be turned in on time, it means when I ask for it. They don't understand what my schedule is like and instead think I must conform to their time frame.

It is mostly frustrating, but it is also alarming. One the one hand I am upset by the fact that I can't seem to manage this one class as well as I have managed classes in the past. On the other hand, I feel like this is part of a growing trend in education. As I look at this class of mis-matched students from all walks of life, I can sense a growing belief that not only should 100-level classes be incredibly easy, but that every 100-level class should grant an "A" to everyone. It's a growing belief that, quite honestly, agitates me beyond belief. However, as much as I have tried to combat it in this class, I have failed. The students somehow feel entitled to a better grade and because I refuse to "give" it to them (because they have not earned it), many of them are ready to negatively evaluate me.

In all honesty, the negative evaluations do not bother me too much. This evaluation will, most likely, coincide with many other professors' this semester and it is ultimately not going to affect me that much, if at all. It's the disrespect that bothers me. It's the lack of personal responsibility that annoys me. It's the fear that this sense of entitlement is the future of education and, therefore, the future I will inevitably inherit as a problematic in education.

I am trying to be positive. I am trying to be hopeful. Ultimately, I am trying to remember that this is just one of many stages and phases I must go through. Yet, I can't help but feel that this is something I will continue to encounter, again and again. I want to know how to deal with it. I want to effectively combat it. Most importantly, I want to feel better.


carebear said...

Why are we always on the same level in life? Keep that chin up, it's getting harder to do these days, it's the rollercoaster of life. Keep on Swimming!

Bree said...

It's just that level of entitlement that you and I have talked about before. What a bunch of whiners. Don't let 'em get you down.

Thister said...

Thanks! I'm trying! :)

SMJ said...

I know how you feel. Part of it is this particular class. Last semester you didn't have these problems, at least not to this extent. Class culture is such a funny thing, my first class doesn't really jive. My second one is fun.the students are receptive to my teaching style. So cheer up, I'm sure next semester will be better.

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