I am an instructor at a community college. I teach two classes a semester. They are both political science classes. These classes has become the bane of my existence.
To begin, I am not a teacher. I am an instructor. I lecture and evaluate. I don’t teach. It’s not my job to tell my students what will be on the test and which notes they should especially study. I present information and help them think about what it means in the real world, but that’s it. Then I give them a test. I do find it silly when my students call me “professor”. I’m not that either. I don’t have a PhD and I’m not wearing tweed.
Then there are the students themselves. Oh the students. There are some that I have been really glad to have met. There have been like two of those. Mostly, I have no recollection of them at all. A former student approached me a few months ago and I had no idea who she was, which class she was in, or how long ago that was. She did not look familiar to me at all. That’s typical of my experience. Then there are those students whose faces will forever be etched in my brain as among the worst people I have encountered. They are the ones who asked purposefully antagonistic questions of other students just to be obnoxious. They are the ones who didn’t come to class, except for the test days, and then ask for extra credit when they realize (in the last week of class) that they are failing. They are the ones who want to appeal their grades because they didn’t realize that not turning in assignments would lead to a poor grade. They are the ones who refuse to think beyond exactly the words that are written in the book.
This past semester, both of my classes were online rather than in person. This has proved to be better and somehow also worse. It is worse because I can’t tell if my students understand anything I have posted. There are no blank faces staring back at me. It is better because I don’t actually have to be there. It is better because I can do school related stuff when my kids are in bed and then I don’t have to get child care for them. And, it is better because the faces of those really irritating students will not be burned into my subconscious.
Really though, I’d like to not do these classes anymore. The reading of assignments, the grading of assignments, the calculating of the grades, etc. Ugh. It’s exhausting. I am relieved it’s over for now (once we get past this week with the revelation of grades and the astonishment some students will have that doing only 70% of the assignments, and doing them poorly, will result in a failing grade).