Ugh. This has become such a common story recently that I almost didn't link it. But then I remembered that today I have been thinking of how much I dislike Thursdays, because I am not crazy about my night class.
I haven't had a class that I consider less than successful in quite a few semesters. The reason this time around is a general negative vibe. Also the students don't seem prepared. It's terrible that a handful of students spoil the atmosphere (the vast majority of students are great), but what can you do? I noticed the dynamic immediately and made an effort to change it - which has worked to some degree, but not completely. I find myself having to be way too much of a controlling behaviorist, and I don't like that style of teaching.
So here it is, halfway through the semester, and I dread going to class; counting the days until it's a wrap. I will give out the midterm this evening, which should be a wake-up call. Unfortunately, I have a feeling the call won't be heard until less than stellar grades are reported (as undoubtedly will happen), seeing the questions won't be enough.
Now you may wonder what this has to do with the disgusting linked story? Well, this isn't the reason for my low opinion of the class, but last week I was teasing some students during discussion about a question that had to do with animals (and I have made it clear many times how much I love them), when one of them shouted, "I hate animals." She wasn't kidding, she was deadly serious.
OK, not everyone has to feel as I do, she isn't a candidate for being a personal friend in real life (or on facebook) and it certainly has nothing to do with how she will be graded, or really with the negative atmosphere of class. I don't dislike this student, in fact I approve of students who participate, regardless of what they contribute. But it struck me as extreme cluelessness - the professor has clearly stated her passion for her pets during the class go-around, and when I am telling stories during lectures. So it would be a good idea to keep your mouth shut on this issue, even though I was teasing the group, and I doubt the student intended to be mean-spirited. However, I consider it disrespect and a direct in-my-face challenge, to be honest - a perfect demonstration of why I don't like going to class every Thursday.
So the actions of the degenerate in the TU story I linked - not a surprise. This student would probably shrug at his behavior.