No matter how many students there are, I have to prepare myself for these types:

The student who annoys me by passive-aggressive techniques (I don’t understand; I couldn’t find your office; I didn’t think to ask anyone . . . )

The student who thinks he (usually he) will annoy me with open insolence (much less annoying than the first type).

The one with ADD who tries hard but cannot get it together.

The one who is deeply distracted by family problems.

The first-generation student who has just transferred from a small community college, mid-year, and is completely overwhelmed by the size of LRU’s campus and bureaucracy.

The one who suffers from anxiety and/or depression.

The one who blows everyone else out of the water . . . how to keep this one engaged and energized without depressing or antagonizing the others?

The one who is super-smart and tragically under-prepared for college-level work.

The one who conscientiously does everything by the book, without ever showing any spark of creativity or insight, and gets frustrated because A’s are elusive.

The student who thinks it will be possible to get good grades by talking intelligently in class, and turns in half (at best) of the written work that actually gets graded.

The one who doesn’t have money for books and is reading outdated editions online, on an old phone that has a cracked screen or other problem.

On the whole, I’d rather deal with the annoying ones, because so many of the others are heart-breaking. Sometimes I know how their stories come out, though. One of the smart/underprepared ones I had a few years ago just graduated, for instance. There is hope.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Preparing for class

  1. It feels like our teaching experiences aren’t that different. Though for the cracked smartphone student, we are very fortunate that our subject library is right next door to our teaching building. I always put my course textbooks on reserve over there and I do get students who use them. Especially with the cost of textbooks for my courses skyrocketing (our public finance text just went up to $300!).

  2. “The one who conscientiously does everything by the book, without ever showing any spark of creativity or insight, and gets frustrated because A’s are elusive.”

    I have a student like that whom I’ve now had in four classes. (Small school syndrome…) I’m sure all she wants in my class is to figure out the trick to getting an A, but there’s no trick. She’s nice, smart, but completely boring.

Comments are now closed.