Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Needy Students

do you have needy students? I usually have one or more every semester. They're the kind who need constant handholding and affirmation on every assignment, who NEVER trust their own instincts, who don't want to walk into a class discussion without knowing they are right.

It's maddening and tiring. They're constantly at my door, when I'm trying to prep for my next class or just get some other work done.

Sadly, I see myself in them. I was probably one of these students, driven by a combination of desire to learn, desire to impress, insecurity about my own ability to truly comprehend the material, and a serious jones for positive affirmation. I'm probably still like this even today. When my boss talked to me about potentially moving towards being in charge of our (currently-in-process-of-designing) grad program, my heart leaped like a little child at the affirmation (but not, you know, at the workload).


At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The students are needy. Yeah Right! The problem is not the students but the teachers. I never understand teachers that take a job and don't know the subject and/or are unwilling to share information. It's your job to guide your students. They pay your salary. If it wasn't for them you wouldn't have a job.

If you do have so called "Needy" students it is likely that you aren't doing your job.

How can you tell if you are not doing your job. Two ways:

Does your life Suck? If things aren't working out well for you then most likely your crass nature will follow you in the classroom.

Are you unsuccessful at your chosen career and that's why you've become a teacher. If yes, then we can assume that you don't do what's necessary to earn your salary.

If a student has to work two part-time jobs to be able to afford to pay you to teach them something. Then you better Damn well teach what your getting paid for.

No the students aren't needy. The teachers are just Greedy. Greedy with information.


YOU SUCK! Quit your job if you have nothing to offer.

At 9:41 AM, Blogger TerminalMFA said...

wow - this is an oddly vicious comment. i really don't want to engage in an argument here. but i will say that i don't suck at my chosen career, i like teaching, and i wasn't saying that all students are needy. to imply that a student's neediness automatically means the teacher isn't doing his/her job is ludicrous. some students just crave affirmation at a level that is too high and unnecesary. frankly, those students NEED to be taught how to think for themselves. it's not all about giving out information. it's also about teaching them how to learn.

At 11:20 AM, Blogger Jiff said...

Sheesh. What a jerk. Is this guy one of your students?

I remember, sometimes, BEING a needy student. I look back in shame, now.

Receive no blame, TermMFA. None atall.

At 8:19 PM, Blogger TerminalMFA said...

Thanks, Jiff. No, my students are infinitely more polite. And, you know, they like me. I think someone just peed in his cornflakes they day read my post.

At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I take exception to the idea that when someone becomes a teacher it is because they can't "make it" in their chosen field. This is just not true on so many levels it is hard to address. Let me just say that some people are given the gift of teaching, AND they may be very successful in their fields. Some people who are successful in their fields make terrible teachers. I have had a few professors like that. Being able to teach others is a gift that includes knowledge of subject, talent in their field, productivity, and a desire to see someone else succeed, excellent communication skills, and approachability, great listening skills...diagnostic skills, creative adaptability, giving unselfishly etc...there are many facets to a great teacher.

At 1:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops! I am not the original Anonymous commentator.

At 10:44 AM, Blogger TerminalMFA said...

Thanks for those words, Anonymous - I completely agree.


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