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I teach communication skills (usually Voice and Diction) at a community college.

I feel that I need to challenge my students. As a result, for one of my weekly recordings, I assign the St. Crispin's Day speech from Henry V.

We went over the text in detail in class on Tuesday, and the following exchange happened.

Student1: Why are you doing this to us?
Me: As a professor, my job is to challenge you. This is a challenging text.
Student2: But this looks hard!
Me: That's because it is hard. That's why we're spending time going over it today.
Student3: Why can't you give us something easy?
Me: If I did that, you wouldn't learn.
St3: But I want an A...
Me: Then EARN IT.
Student1: I don't know the words... and how do you pronounce... (student mangles "Gloucester")
Me: Then look those words up. And it's "Gloucester."
St1: That pronunciation makes no sense...
Me: I know. Just accept it and move on.
St2: I think you're being mean.
Me: Okay. As long you do the recording, you can think whatever you like.
St2: I'm just giving my opinion.
Me: And I'm telling you that it's irrelevant. You have an assignment to do. So, do it.
St2: But... don;t you care about how I feel...?
Me: Nope. Like I say every semester, I am a professor in a classroom, not a counselor at self-esteem camp. Your feelings don't matter to me.

I am not saying that all or even most of my students are like this, but some are.


Hi Sean, I've been mostly away from LJ for a while. Glad to see you again.

And of course the more the students change, the more they stay the same!

Welcome back, Julie!

It's good to hear from you again!
I've taught students (from children to adults) who acted just like this.

LOVE your answers.

Good luck.
Thank you.

I don't back down, mostly because I think that does the students a disservice.
I always love a good teacher story!
Thanks for reading and enjoying!
I am a professor in a classroom, not a counselor at self-esteem camp.

Hahahaha! Fair enough.

"I understand that you FEEL this is a lot of work. But education is supposed to involve learning, so what were you thinking?"

Seriously, I say the self-esteem camp in my classes at least once per semester.

Hell, I've even said it in meetings whiny colleagues.
Eeeks .... The badass teacher !!!! Good luck :)

Edited at 2016-11-11 01:09 am (UTC)
Thank you!
I love reading your exchanges with students!
Thank you! This is one of my safe places to vent, so when I get a little (or a lot) frustrated, I come here.
Your students are so freaken whiney!! I Don't get it, I've never experienced that level of whineyness before. So odd. I always love how you handle them : ). So good that you never cave. A lot of teachers would cave.
The problem is that many do cave.

Those student opinions surveys that we do carry a lot of weight for those on tenure track, so professors feel that they have to coddle our students.

It's odd. That hasn't been my experience. Even the students I fight with tend to like me. My student surveys have always been good. So good, in fact, that both my department chair and my direct boss have remarked on them.
Having done some teaching I have heard similar. Smile. Thanks for this!
Thank you for reading and enjoying!
St2: I think you're being mean.
Me: Okay. As long you do the recording, you can think whatever you like.

I feel like I have that same conversation with my students except they're 3rd-5th graders!
I think that whining about classwork is universal.

Thanks for reading!
I love these, and I've missed them. I'm glad you (and your students) are back.
Thanks! It's great to be back.
But... the pronunciation of Glouster does make no sense. Or that of Worcester! *giggle*

Still, I hope you get less students like this than those that work and learn.

Haha this is great. I was a theatre major so I remember diction quite fondly(speak the speech I pray you...trippingly off the tongue ^.^) but this diolouge gave me a giggle.

Yay season ten!

I'm glad you're not the type to coddle them. Learning the difficult stuff is important!
Love how you handled that student. I work with toddlers, but have found many of their parents to be far whinier than the kids. The phrase "I don't wanna..." coming out of a thirty-something's mouth is very annoying.
I love this. When I was a student I would have hated it. But, it's Shakespeare, so I would have lovex that, and I would have been able to pronounce Gloucester.

It's great to see you again! I'm really looking forward to your entries. Best of luck!