Saturday, February 25, 2006

Teaching is a two-person arrangement

I wonder what would happen if I did the following...

Walked into the classroom, sat down at my desk in the front of the room, randomly drank my coffee, messed around with my stuff but didn't get ready for class.

When class time comes, I ask the class what we are supposed to talk about -- like I really didn't know.

If they look at me funny, I'll say that I was sick -- or I had to take the cat to the vet, or I was busy working over the weekend and didn't figure out what was going on.

I could let this go on for a while -- maybe 20 minutes or so... asking them what they have due soon, what they've had due in the past and when the next exam is -- all stuff that is on the syllabus. If they give me a topic, I'll start talking about it poorly -- without my usual set of PowerPoints and fully considered discussion prompts. I'll ask them questions about the topic and act kind of stupid. If they press me, I'll use the "philosophy gives me a headache, I can't do it" excuse I heard via another student last week. I'll then tell them that they shouldn't bother coming to class the week after break because I "have to go on vacation with my family"-- and that we need to end early today because I have a gyno appointment.

Finally, I'll ask them if they've had enough -- if they are sick of the airhead me and would like their normal dorky but prepared philosophy teacher back...

I'll then explain to them that learning anything, and especially learning philosophy, is a two-person enterprise. I come prepared to teach every day... no matter if I had "a lot going on" (when don't I...), or if I "don't feel well" or whatever. I really can't teach them unless they are ready to learn. That means doing the homework and being prepared to ask questions as necessary.

I'd also tell them that they would be rightly outraged if any of their instructors acted as I did, and that their instructors have learned to live with the outrage and intentional disrespect displayed when they can't even manage to read a couple of short chapters before class.

Then, I'd probably get fired -- so maybe I need to wait until I'm tenured (off probation around here... as close to tenured as it gets..). The slakcers of BNCC should watch out, Fall 06 -- that is my time....

1 comment:

Seeking Solace said...

That would be cool. I would love to try that in my Critical Thinking class. My students would think I either ran out of coffee or had a hangover!

Ps: Thanks for visiting me. I added you to my roll.