Friday, February 15, 2008

teaching thought

I have a student who really really doesn't like me. Everything in every class is to be questioned and found less than adequate. At bottom, the student is uncomfortable with my approach and the questions I raise. I have a sneaky suspicion that this student wold be uncomfortable with any thing different, be it me, be it William Faulkner, be it DNA evidence.

What's fascinating is that this student hasn't yet grasped that their questioning is really starting to annoy the rest of the class. I could care less (really, I mean it) but I do care about the impact the questions have upon the tone of the discussion. At the same time, I love it that the class can debate.


Matt Brown said...

An intriguing problem. I've always wondered of the two students extremes, which would a prof more prefer to have: the one who questions *everything*, or the one who fawns over *everything*?

lemming said...

Never had a student who fawned - several who made me laugh long and hard, but never a fawner. The challenge with students who question everything is that it becomes very tempting to tailor class to that one person, rather than to what the rest of the class actually needs. This one will pose a very hard challenge... shoudl be a fun semester.

Mariah said...

I am sorry to say that I am probably sometimes considered one of those kids. How I see it is this: if no one askes questions, than beliefs that may be incorrect may never be challenged, and the world will never advance.

I've seen lots of kids who ask questions turned down and creativity squashed simply because it's not convienient to answer. I hope you find a solution that works for everyone.