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dino head

Introduction

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.

Comments

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.