Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Chapter 52: Those Who Are Good in Their Subject, Don't Teach

I promised my best friend (read her blog everyone: Pieces of El) a blog post of rather vulgar proportions, but that will have to wait as I've been meaning to write this post for months (years if you want to be literal).
You know the feeling.Walking into a new class room in college, whether it's community or university, always bring with it the hope: Please don't let me fail! I gave up that feeling long ago and not just because I've been on the honor role of ever college I've attended (please note the satire for your own health), but because I am scared to death that the person in the teacher's seat is not going to know how to do what they get paid thousands to do: Teach.
I've had pretty much every experience in a class room I think one can have. I've had the passive jerk who really doesn't care (really, one teacher was writing As on the tests as we handed them in!); the one who wants you to do well but doesn't actually talk during class and gets angry if you leave the computer terminal to ask her a question; the over passionate one who hates it when you don't see things her way, the one who gives you a C because you disagreed with her lecture in a five page essay; the one who is an overachiever and gives you hand outs, PowerPoints, in addition to his lecture and the text book and then wonders why you got a B- on his 8 page test; the list goes on! I've been in college a while...
Then we have this new breed of teacher who shows up semi late, gives you a bit more homework than is humanly possible to finish in the allotted time you have to do it, gives you essays every week because they don't take roll, and worst of all, they read out of the book but hate it when you have a question and tell you "It's in the text book". Or the one who is a literature professor and spends all of your Poe class time on how the dinosaurs went extinct and why you shouldn't believe in God.
Right now, I hope at least one of those sounds pretty bizarre to you. I don't want to go into detail about either of them to avoid being a jerk, but these people really can't teach.
I want to be a teacher. I want to teach reading and writing. I believe that if you can do that then you can learn anything else. But these few teachers out there are just really good at their subject matter. Except of course the one about Poe and the dinosaurs. Ok, I can't avoid it, I have to use their subjects to help make my point.
My American Literature professor... He hates the Bible and Christians and all other religions but in case you missed it the first 5 weeks of class, he wants you to read "The Age of Reason" and write papers about how right Mr. Paine is. I have nothing against the Thomas Paine... except that he can't write an argument. No, I don't agree with him, but do you know why? He has no sources. He claims This City was not called That then and so on. How do we, the readers, know? He says things out right that are PURE opinion. He's not a credible source. Also, a lot of his arguments about the bible are false when you do a close a reading. I thought of at least three while just listening to audio. Any way, Paine isn't the point here. My teacher thinks Paine IS God and all he spent the first six or so weeks doing was bashing religions and spreading hate. We were reading VERY early American literature but he NEVER talked about them in class. It was all about carbon dating and such. Weird. I wanted to discuss literature. Now that we are finally reading stuff from the American Renaissance, he threw in a bit about Washington Irving while we were reading some of his stories (I did an essay on Sleepy Hollow). The best class by far was today when we discussed in detail "Ligeia". This is the FIRST time we've talked literature in his literature class. Huzzah. He's paid to be a teacher and all I'm getting is indoctrinated with his hate and opinions. What happened to teaching?
Now, my French teacher. Er, my French... whatever she is. She reads from the book (which we do as part of our homework), goes through the slides so fast that I cannot take in 50% of it, and then gets angry when we have a question. Very much, "Why don't you know that?" in an annoyed French accent. I don't know that because it's in the chapter we're learning now! Duh. I mean, right? I cannot grasp why she thinks we come to class just to hear her repeat something we were supposed to have to learned last semester (which she says a lot). If I learned it then, why would I be here now? If she's supposed to be a teacher, why does she treat us like we're stupid when we ask questions. That's what class is for. She's supposed to teach. Teach means, according to my new love the OED: to show, present or offer, to direct, to guide. And then we have all the nice examples to OED gives you of when the word was used and all that. She doesn't do any of that. Neither does Mr. Deist-Supremacist.
Point: I am more scared of not being taught and handing in a half-witted attempt at what the teacher wants to hear (or struggling through what I've dug up on my own in the French case) and not learning than I am of having a real teacher and getting a bad grade for not learning. I mean, I'm not learning here either, but I'm getting a good grade (in the literature case). Or in the French case, I could be learning and getting an ok grade verses not learning and getting an ok grade. I don't care about the grade! well, I care about my GPA, but I am paying out the nose for this school! Literally, every penny I have made over the past year is going to this school right now. I want to be taught, damn it! Sorry... I had to. It's so wrong that I have to work three jobs, run myself to death, not sleep well, not eat healthy, get fat, have no social life or friends, AND no education! W...T...F?

The End ^_^


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