Sunday, March 22, 2009

Nila From New Orleans Needs Our Help. On the "MSE" Archetype.

Every year, in every class, I come across an archetype: The Male Student Egomaniac. The MSE has the following characteristics:

  • smugness
  • overconfident body language
  • verbal diarrhea
  • inability to curb opinions
  • inability to parse relevant facts
  • desire to upstage authority figure (me)
  • desire to prove intelligence
  • tendency to reduce discussion to trivial pursuit game
  • reactionary response to attempt to curb tangential discussion
  • overly willing to argue inconsequential points or factoids

As someone new to teaching, a woman, a minority and being short-ish, I feel like I’m under attack. I have not yet developed an adequate approach to this kind of individual. I am getting very sick of having to deal with these types. Initially, I treated them with kindness and indulgence.

Then I realized that kindness is mistaken for weakness and indulgence is taken for permission. So, now I have taken to cutting off the individual and simply taking the bad evaluation for the sake of my peace of mind and class discipline.

It would be most wonderful to know how others have dealt with such a personality.