Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I'm not doing enough of my students any good. I'm ineffectual, afraid.
I'm terrified of lowering the boom in the way so many of your readers seem capable. My students are lazy and I extend deadlines and offer help. Students don't ask for help. I just offer it. Then they don't show.
The good students achieve. I can help them. We're in it together. One works harder than anyone I've ever seen in a classroom. He struggles, though, to get a C. And when he does he's overjoyed.
Other students do nothing. I offer. I help. I give suggestions. I meet them in odd places to fit their schedule. They sometimes don't arrive.
They turn in sub-standard work that I give C minuses to so I don't anger them. The student evaluations rest on my desk and I know my students will punish me with bad scores should I displease them in some way, should I grade them the way they deserve, should I call them on their bullshit, should I require them to re-do sloppy and useless assignments.
This horrible college of mine cares more about one complaint from a lazy and dull student than they do for my effort or my care with the good students.
I'm afraid all of the time. I owe money. I work because I have bills and because I owe money. I spend 1/10th of my time with students who want to be here, who want to work. I spend the rest with the rest who glare at me, who are displeased, who are disrespectful, and I eat shit every day rather than provoke them.
I'm not at all what I wanted to be. I'm on the ledge of my career, the ledge of my life, I think. I want to come inside, to be talked down.
I want to be better.