Thursday, 20 May 2010

To keep myself sane

And to possibly entertain, here's a list of things I love about teachers:

They are always right. Example:

"...but, professor, I did send you an email. On the beginning of the semester."
"Did you? Well, I didn't see anything!" [doesn't even know my name, so it's totally possible]
"Hm, I can guarantee you I sent it, and I didn't get a reply."
"Well, that's impossible."
"I always reply, even if it's with a 'Notified. signed: teacher', so I can't imagine that ever happening."
"...I really did send it, though, just I like last semester." [and, by a very strange coincidence, she didn't reply to that one either]
"Well, maybe I forgot, I'm only human, but it does seem very odd that I didn't reply to you at all."
"I'll forward the [non-existent, reply-filled] email as soon as I get home."

They never do things without a plausible reason. Examples:

  • Say you can only do group presentations, because it means a lot less work for them stimulates the students to work in groups, thus acquiring the knowledge that all group assignments end in tears
  • Tell you that you'll be evaluated in exactly the same way you were last semester in another course he/she also taught, but only report a truck-sized minute nuance weeks before the exam
  • Write in the program for the course that you'll only be evaluated if you appear in 2/3 of the classes, because you are scared to be called out on incredibly low rates due to the fact that going to your class or reading wikipedia gives you the same result you are concerned for your students and want them to do very well
  • Also, really enforce that 2/3 rule except if one of your students emails you, completely defeated because he will flunk and on that case reply "this class has no minimum attendance requirements"
  • Recite powerpoints word for word. Do not show an ounce of original thought. Put them online later so your students can feel redundant as fuck, because if the only thing you are there to do is to read text from a document, lots of us are capable of that, so why bother going really lucky to have you as a teacher.

They are condescending, adorable little things that only try to make your life easier:

"I misunderstood, I should have spoken with you." [even though there were no signs that things would be different]
"Yes, you should have. And you should always keep current with the happenings here at school." [sure, it makes sense for a student to know when a meeting between teachers is and, of course, guess what it was about]
"Well, I do try, and I stay current with the e-learning platform." [I do love the concept of e-learning; it's e-learning, and yet I still get punished for not attending classes when I'm learning exactly the same amount and, moreover, it's my decision and it shouldn't be a factor on whether I deserve (!) to get a chance (!) to do the exam]
"Really? So why the confusion? You must have read the program."
"Yes, I did. Several times."
"You musn't have, because it's all there."
"Well, yes, but in exactly the same format as last year, with nothing telling me I had to prove I was a student-worker to do my exam."
"But it says "student-worker"."
"I do know that, but last year, exactly the same words were used and I was able to take the exam without any sort of proof I was a student-worker. That's why I was puzzled, that's why I came here...I didn't get, at any point in the semester, that you absolutely had to be a confirmed, official one to only do the exam."
"Well, that leaves us with a problem." [How I feel for these people; they must be so distressed to learn they'll have to do some actual work and maybe *gasp* help a student instead of undermining their progress with their unclear guidelines and silly attitude towards teaching*]

*These are all from the same class/teachers. These are from a course that had 10 classes with actual study material in them. 10. So, for 10 classes of absolutely trivial knowledge, I get to go through the ring of fire. Yet, in one of my most difficult classes I had, the teacher did not give a shit if you attended, or made you do group presentations. If you wanted extra points, you'd volunteer to make a presentation, and it could be individual. Most people did at least one presentation. As for attendance...well, let's just say that either you didn't go to class at all, or you didn't miss even one.

These, my friends, are the devices of teachers who know that if they weren't there, we'd probably learn the same amount.