I’m kind of sad. Very happy that I’m feeling better, thinking wholly, and getting stronger. However, there seem to be downsides. I think in my last post I used the word bitter- I’m half guessing as it was so long along ago I’m not sure if it was the last post or the one before it. In any case, feeling better is good. It’s much easier to naturally think less about feeling bad this way.
Two months ago, I was happy to be here (college, as I’m typing this sitting in PSY class.) Over joyed really- I know I used that word. I still am, mostly. Well, all the way joyed… in most of the classes. I haven’t spoken much in the last month or so, and even I’ve wondered why just a bit. Yes, yes, all that I’ve said before… and still I wonder, is this the end?
Maybe I don’t need the OT anymore (or maybe I do,) yet as always, I have always wanted to be a blogger! Ha, content is king! Here it is, look at all these words… hm, okay. I do like communication. Hm, do I? Sometimes. I do like ideas and thinking. Good intellectual discussions, that is the communication I most enjoy.
This, this I am not enjoying. That is sad.
Here I sit, broken hearted,
tried to learn Psychology,
and only ended up with this teacher.
Wasted the last two weeks watching the Stanford experiment…
Starts this period by showing a short video on Milgrim with no context or setting… literally, no introduction at all other than saying “Okay, we’re going to watch a short video” after taking attendance (and still a normal roll call, as he doesn’t seem to know anyones names.)
Tells the class that only on people like Ghandi and Mother Theresa are self-actualized.
Skips the student presentation for the day (only one of three showed up… 10 out of 32 in class total.) So far now in ten weeks I’ve seen two, maybe three presentations- everyone else is stacking up for “next week”…
I had started this in Psych class yesterday, thinking if the teacher couldn’t teach anything outside of his slides or even understand and answer questions (much less admit and correct errors pointed out,) I would at least be productive during the class time by writing this post.
Then I was interrupted as the “teacher” ended class and released the students an hour and fifteen minutes early of a two hour class after he realized (after half an hour,) that he was going through the presentation/slide show from a previous module…
The students left, I kept typing… I had paid for a two hour class- if I can’t be taught I figured I would at least stay to finish writing this post and make use of the classroom for the remainder of the time. However, as the professor wrapped up with another line of students at the end of class. He’s now moving all the due dates again and excusing any late work for all the students as he has realized (yet not admitted or apologized in any way,) that he pushed 70% of the workload in the first 30% of the semester.
Essentially, for five weeks he (the teacher,) didn’t realize he was teaching a 15 week class, as he was just blindly following the 7 modules of curriculum provided to him, as far as I can tell, he spends no time preparing for class at all.
Though, I don’t think it’s required for me to teach the teacher how to teach, his interruption (and the coincidence that I was currently writing this post, so I had the notes in front of me,) provided the opportunity to provide this feedback directly to him. Sadly, he was very defensive of the facts, necessitating that I provide details and support.
He reactions were interesting, when I pointed out that he had no syllabus for the class, nothing to indicate the pacing, what materials would be covered each week (for the few students, like myself, that would like to read the material ahead of class,) he said it wasn’t needed and the students should be able to follow along on their own.
Then I had to point out that if he had a syllabus planned out for his 15 week class, he might not have made the mistake of assigning the first 5 modules in the first five weeks of the course, leaving him only two modules for the next ten weeks- of which has now been filled with whatever videos he can google up to fill enough class time until he releases us early. The look on his face made it clear to me that my point was received, yet still no verbal confirmation that the issue was his and could only be corrected by him.
The conversation went on as I pointed out all the issues that I have become aware of since being in his class- not reading homework, not commenting,- to which he told me he no longer comments or replies to students online, as in a previous semester there was some sort of communication issue with an online comment he made to a student. Sadly, his solution was not to improve his communication skills… nope. His solution, stop commenting or replying to students online. Wow, isn’t that wonderful for a teacher of a hybrid (half online,) class. As far as his grading method, I have no idea- a month ago I had accidentally uploaded his instructions instead of my completed assignment- and I received top marks.
Seriously, as a student, why should I do homework if he’s not going to read it? I will likely start uploading blank PDF’s now then only sending in my complete work if he notices. If I get an A for a blank document… smh
Before the majority of the feedback, I had asked first if he considered himself a “teacher” or as he does already work in the field, if picking up adjunct classes was just an additional source of income. He replied that he took great pride in being a teacher and that he considered it being his primary role. With that, I asked his experience as a teacher- maybe he’s new. Two other schools he also teaches at… he paused, then continued that he’s much more comfortable with his masters level classes- they have much better discussions.
The discussion he pointed out is what is lacking, as he relayed the class participation and learning in his other classes. I had to point out that this is an Intro course at a community college- these students have likely never read a PSY book before or ever had a class on the subject: what are they to discuss he doesn’t assign reading (as no one, apparently not even him, knows what he’ll be ‘teaching’ on next week,) or teach any thing in class? Perhaps they could discuss the comments received on their homework- nope, he gives no comments (aka, teaching.)
Pointing out these issues- mostly his pacing errors and refusal to admit and correct errors (I can’t tolerate false information, and I correct it, always, as soon as I hear it,) could put all the students in a bad position. He insisted that he’s not being a dick (we’ve got a good rapport at this point, his language was appropriate,) and he’s making sure all the students can turn in missing/late work with no down score.
Quickly I had replied- unlike your instructions to the opposite the first week of class? He was quite firm then, no excuses for late work. I suppose that changed he realized his pacing and lack of communication skills would likely cause the whole class to fail. Just as quickly, he reminded me that he changed that to now allow late work. Right on the heels of that, I clarified: did you change your position when you realized the students were having an issue with the problems he created (pacing.)
A perfect spot for him to say “yes, and I’m fixing it”, but no.. Nothing to be admitted by him, just to reply that everyone would be fine in the class. My guess is that everyone that uploads something (even the PDF of his own instructions,) gets an A. So easy teaching must be for him: provided the 7 module class curriculum, all he though he had to do was show up and click through the slides.
Oh, but he did have one more redeeming idea at the start of class- the student assignments to present chapters to be covered each week. It started well- I volunteered at the first class to give my presentation the next week. Read the book, and gave a presentation to his standards (he was clear he wanted no note reading, rather real interaction presentation on the material.) Yet, with his organization skills, that fell apart by the third week. (He couldn’t figure out why the assigned chapters weren’t lining up with his presentations (to bad he didn’t have a syllabus to reference.) When I pointed out that he wasn’t even presenting to the standards he set (specifically, presentations are not to be “just reading slides”.) Again, the look in his eye told me this point had sunk in, yet again, no admission– hasn’t he learned ABC? (Admit it, Believe it, Change it.)
Keeping my eye on the clock, I keep my review of him/the class going until the actual end of the class period and ended with a few solid tips and expectations: I want him to spend an hour before the next class to review the book and materials/modules provided to him and then plan and provide a two hour educational experience that is something more than just reading the slides verbatim.
At one point, he seemed confused with my motivations, as he repeated several times that I was “doing fine” and would have no problem passing the class. I asked, is that the goal you think I have, to get out of class, to get done with the semester, or is it possible that I am here with goal to learn something? (I assume at this point, I’m the only person complaining about skipping hours of class time or receiving top marks for anything uploaded.)
Though defensive at first, by the end we had established an understanding (I think,) and although I could sense him absorbing what I was saying, again there were no admissions. Then again, to be fair- the roles are odd.
He’s 32 years old with Masters degree in PSY. I’m 45 with a wide variety of teaching and Instructor experience, yet still a first year college student (with a GED.) The conversation had begun with him firmly trying to cling to his role as teacher, attempting to placate me several times with feeble attempts to ‘clarify’ my comments by restating them. Yet, all his restatements changed the place of blame.
ie. “So I hear that you have an issue with the curriculum” (which is provided to him by the college/department.) No, I have an issue with the way you are lecturing (or not,) and pacing the curriculum. “So I hear that you have an issue with the lack of discussion” (as his master level classes, he says, are full of wonderful discussion.) No, I don’t have an issue with the students discussion (or lack there of,) I have an issue with your lack of lecture (apart from reading slides.) Perhaps if you were able to engage with the students beyond (as I mimicked him,) “okay, any questions, moving on” when he finishes reading a slide, he might be able to pull out some conversation.
With no admissions, it’s hard to tell, yet he’s continuing his story that he’s planned this to spend the rest of semester on the last two modules (which he says, is his personal area of expertise,) and that I’m going to be very happy with the coming lectures.
Okay, I could write more, I should be writing more. But should I be writing about my experiences in college? Well, apart from the puppy, there is not much more to write about…. and with college, there have been a bunch of things. As I wrote at the beginning of the semester, I will not be commenting on the Government class until the end of the semester, then I’ll give a full write up of my experiences there.
I have decided at the end of the semester (so that I’ll no longer be her student,) I plan to ask the PLS teacher for an hour meeting outside the class. It is easy to see she is a highly intelligent person and I believe she may have some unique perspectives on any number of events. The goal, to gain for myself an opportunity to absorb her perspective and add it to my own- yet properly, I want her personal/individual experiences not bounded by a curriculum or any other limits to be ‘neutral’ as she might be in the classroom.
Okay, rough and tangential, as always; I’ve had a lot on my mind (and it’s nice being about to remember and process my thoughts, without having to type then re-read them,) and some of it does need to get onto paper.
Time to rest.