15 May 2009

Semester 1 - Whole Class Teaching

I have just completed my first semester teaching Anatomy & Physiology to pre-nursing and other pre-medical students at a local community college.

Whew, thank the goddess I made it out alive, healthy, and sane (or at least as sane as I was when I started). I don't think I have worked harder in my life!

The student evaluations trickled in, and I am reminded at how un-prepared our high-schoolers are for college. They don't know how to study, they expect me to hand out notes (NOTES!), and they are incapable of taking care of their own business. How many times I wanted to say to my classes, "What do I think you all are? College students?!?"

Apparently, I am supposed to teach high school, 13th grade. And what I love is my students who think paying for class is enough to get them a passing grade, and not even that, a high grade, an A even!

So I've begun putting my opening lecture together for next semester.

It will start out with:
I am not teaching 13th grade in High School.
I am not your parent.
I am your facilitator.
You are the teacher.
Paying your tuition, and occasionally putting in an appearance in class is not enough.
I do not grade by your effort but by your performance.


I cannot count the number of students who told me, "But I have to pass this class." Um, that's great. Do your work.

Sigh, I fear for our future.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

In my first year mechanical engineering class, the lecturer said: if you don't know the stuff, I'm going to fail you, because if I don't one day I'll be getting on a plane that you've designed. Similarly for doctors and nurses really.