Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What Timing . . .

I've been hoping to have really bad classes my last semester so that I would be thrilled to leave come May. By "really bad classes" I mean really bad students, of course. The teaching schedule, the classrooms assigned, even the subject to be taught don't matter nearly as much as the students in the various classes, as far as teacher satisfaction goes (am I right, fellow instructors?). And I don't mean "bad" in the sense of academically or intellectually challenged. A bad student is one who is not engaged, tries to get out of assignments, makes excuses, isn't prepared, doesn't participate.

But it hasn't happened. There are exceptions, of course, but as a rule my classes this semester consist of hard-working, interested students who are eager to participate. There's not a single one I look at hopefully with the word "mononucleosis" in my mind. Even the students that looked like trouble at the beginning haven't (at least so far) caused any.

This hasn't always been the case in my teaching career. There have been times when I've stood outside the classroom door with my hand on the knob, hoping to hear a tornado siren or a fire alarm that will give me an excuse not to go in. There have been semesters when I was so thrilled to see the end of a particular class that I felt like jumping in the air and clicking my heels on the way out on the last day.

But not this time. Unfair, isn't it? Why are they doing this to me, showing up prepared and bursting with ideas and eager to collaborate with one another?

Couldn't they cut me a break and be a bunch of jerks? But no. They'll make it hard to leave.


  1. I think this is a good thing. You'll leave on a high note with a sense of "Job well done!" :) e

  2. It will be bittersweet no matter what!

  3. Erg, I know. But my experience has been that the worst parts of the semester are 1/3 and 2/3 of the way through, and if they make it through the first one, I'm optimistic about the rest of the semester!