Posts Tagged ‘Educators

21
Feb
13

An honoured and noble profession…

New development in my new life… I am now a shaper of young minds… Except young minds are a bit like runny porridge it turns out, so really all I’m doing is getting my hands dirty in a thankless pursuit of guiding younger people through the steps they need to take before they join the real world… Needless to say, I am not Robin Williams as John Keating, and this is not my personal version of Dead Poets Society.

I don’t know if this is true of all teachers, tutors, lecturers and instructors but I take the role of lecturer rather seriously. Or more accurately, I take it personally. I think of my students as partly reflections on or of me. If they aren’t confident and knowledgeable in the subjects that I teach them, it would mean that I failed. Failure is not something I do well or with any kind of dignity… This quirk has carried through to lecturing as well.

The day I explode at students who I feel aren’t trying or putting the work in is soon at hand. These are college kids. Most of who only do the bare minimum to pass and spend most of their time partying their tits off. Not doing something as sane and responsible as actual college work. This is the natural behaviour of a college student, I suppose. College years are meant for wild parties, wild self-exploration and wilder exploration of others. For me though it’s as much as becoming the future professional you see yourself as, which means milking the chance to study, learn and practise your trade or craft, as much as possible…

Also I put a lot of personal time, energy and thought into my lectures. I read through the prescribed textbook (which turns out to be put together by obnoxious, contrived wankers), make notes, break down the ideas and information so it’s easier to understand and then put together, what I hope, is an entertaining presentation. I want the class to understand the concepts and get excited about the possibilities of what they could do with this new knowledge… Alas… I think I am the only excited person in the lecture room…

I’m usually faced with blank stares for an hour and a half. 11 gormless people sitting through my choreographed song and dance at the front of the room. They aren’t taking notes, most of them aren’t really listening to what I’m saying, they’re not reading or looking at what’s in my presentation. I sometimes wonder if some of them are even still awake. I’m sure there are a few that have mastered sleeping with their eyes open. They stay motionless and expressionless until people around them start moving to leave. Then they move like someone has set their asses on fire. As soon as I say, “…and now we’re done for the day.” The room erupts into activity as they all rush for the door, with the hiss of quietly whispered, “Yesssss…” in celebration.

I do fucking apologize that I’m not some fucking E! Channel – reality show, fringe-celebrity for getting fucked on handy cam in night-vision mode – calibre entertainment. Surely though, you could try not blatantly celebrating – because you’re not hiding it at all – the fact that I have stopped trying my hardest to share what I know with you… Honestly, I feel bad for every teacher and lecturer that I ever disrespected by not doing my best in their class… It is probably one of the most disheartening things when your students seemingly couldn’t give the tiniest of fucks.

There are a few students though who are taxing in another way altogether. For whatever reason, I suspect it is because of my age (I am only 28 this year), some students think they can challenge and pull apart my explanations… These students are worse than the deadpan corpses occupying seats in the class! They’re engaging me, and the subject (kind of), but it’s not genuine. They’re doing it to test my patience or my knowledge about what I’m teaching, all in some attempt to embarrass me in front of their peers. They are, of course, never successful because they don’t know what they’re talking about and it starts to sound like they have a serious learning disability by purposefully trying to twist my explanations around and try trap me in them. I get inches away from screaming, “Stop acting like a fucking retard!!!” almost every lecture.

The irony of it all is that throughout high school and, only at times, while I was studying – I was the perfect example of a crap student. So the steep learning curve I’ve gone through this week is that, lecturing is rewarding in a lot of small ways, but ultimately a thankless job where you’rere probably mocked and berated mercilessly behind your back despite all your good intentions and hard work… As a new lecturer, I have a new-found respect for the profession and those that make it their lives to educate, contribute to the future success of others and overall improve society in their own small way. It truly is a noble and fine thing that they do. If I don’t say so myself…




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