Friday, May 15, 2009

Katie From Kalamazoo on Friending the Flakes.

I won't even address any of the specific and seriously ridiculous recent postings about being friends with students.

The truth is, we are human beings first, social beings, really, and who do we have more contact with than students? Of course I'm friends with my colleagues, but my students are very dear to me.

I feel very sorry for those of you who don't see the possibility of very strong relationships with these amazing women AND men who are in our classes. It's a warm feeling for me to go to work because I know my friends await my arrival in the classroom. We call each other by our first names or "nick" names, and we go about the business of learning as real peers.

Those of you who don't understand that likely come from an earlier generation of instruction. You think you have to hold power over students in order to lead them. But, you see, I don't want to lead them. In fact many times my students lead me to new understandings.

I'm a hardass on grading: don't get me wrong. But we're a small communal society for the span of a semester (or usually much more in my case), and it's lovely to have these relationships.

Sure, I've had students in my home. I feel very very sorry for those of you who have not. You're missing wonderful and rewarding friendships.