Tuesday, March 11, 2008

a quiet rant

I thought I was tough.


I've been called every name in the book, plus a few that even a porn publisher wouldn't include, let alone Harlequin.. In 15 years, I've gotten reasonably accustomed to the occasional problem student. I'm pretty good at dealing with them too. In all modesty, I pride myself upon being the kind of teacher that gets people to say, "you know, I hate history, but I love your class."

I work at it. Very hard. Very hard. Probably much more than any of them ever guess. I care, a lot. I am poorly paid and all of that, but what I do matters and I love it and that's the point. I don't want to make millions, I want to make people as excited about history as it makes me. I want them to use it to improve matters, be informed, create change. Don't build amusement parks on Civil War battlefields -

I had a show-down today with a student. This was the worst show-down I have ever had with anyone in my entire life and I do mean with ANYONE. Pick your worst playground bully, your worst ex-boyfriend's mother, whatever. This was hideous. At the end of it I was, literally, sick to my stomach.

I hope that this means an end to the soap opera I have mentioned in the past. I am not optimistic. I have learned that I am not the only one to have problems wioth this person... I'm just the first to confront the student directly. Lucky me.

I'm sorry; I had planned to write a long and funny post about the one film that no one guessed from my meme (For Me and my Gal, Judy Garland and Gene Kelly) but this is all I can handle right now. Tomorrow I promise to go back to being light-hearted.


Anonymous said...

Why quiet? It's your blog.

harriet said...

I'm so sorry. Big hugs to you. And also, good for you. I'm sure your confrontation will be helping others out too.

Jeanne said...

Fighting with a student is a little like fighting with your own adolescent child--it means you care enough to make a fuss.

I've noticed in the past few years that there are an increasing number of combative students. We're getting the first of the teach-to-the-test kids, and they have little idea how to do any critical thinking. They feel entitled. They tell me they deserve an A just for completing the essentials of the assignment. Sometime they make me discouraged.

Drewster said...

Shoot, I got a B in a class where I was taking the grad level by mistake. (I was post Bac at the time).

I got the B, not because my work wasn't good, but because she knew that I, personally, could have done better. And she was proably right. I mean, yes, I think I did my best at the time, considering full time job and summer intensive, but I didn't perform quite up to my ability.

I also found out later, when I was in the grad program, that the prof. was very tough and the B was well earned. I will take a well earned B over an easy A any day. My GPA will take the A....

And as far as history. Wasn't great in HS. Slow reader made the material hard to take, especially when working at AP levels (a D!). I was never more happier when I got a B in a college course on the "Old South" that was based on not only fact recall but short essay work.

Foxy said...

*hugs* the 11th was tough for me too....*hugs*

Jason266 said...

I have some "associates" should you and your cohorts need to have this guy "taken care of".

Insert Godfather or Sopranos music here. Your choice.

itsmecissy said...

The Chronicle of Higher Education has some great stuff you should read re Profs & students, it's hilarious http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/article/2838/3-of-the-funniest-e-mail-messages-from-professors-to-studentsand-what-they-say-about-technology#comment