Another Brick in the Wall

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

-Mark Twain

If you couldn’t already tell, I am a little frustrated with my major. Don’t get me wrong; I feel very comfortable with my career choice. I am just hoping that I can graduate a decent teacher in spite of my education classes. Save my excellent SecEd 276 class, I have never met an education class I liked. Unfortunately, it seems the teachers who are supposed to teach us to teach have the least teaching ability.

I started two new block classes this week, and thank heavens they are only 8 weeks long. The first one, adolescent development, requires a $160 textbook. I was about to buy the book when I realized that I would not get $20 worth of information from each chapter, so why waste my money?

The second class, multicultural education, started out well. The teacher seemed affable, educated, coherent (and well dressed, which is a rarity for anyone who teaches middle school). However, I quickly discovered that the class was not the sunshine and rainbows I expected. The professor taught middle school for only four years (barely long enough to get tenured) before leaving to get her PhD, and has been teaching college level teacher-education classes since. Despite her doctorate, she has difficulty getting her subjects and verbs to agree and reading things she has written is a grammar buff’s worst nightmare.

Here’s the kicker, though. On the first day of class, after going over her syllabus and policies, she said, “You’ll notice I only allow one absence.”

That’s understandable. For an 8 week class that meets only twice a week, multiple absences could be detrimental. But she went on.

“Each additional time you miss class, you will lose 10% of your final grade. That said, I understand there are times when you should not be in class. Your best friend is getting married, your grandma died, you get sick and have to go to the emergency room. You shouldn’t come to class if things like that happen. Three are more important things for you to be doing. However, you will still be docked the 10%. I think it is important that you realize that there are sometimes consequences that you can’t change. This is a vital life lesson.”

“For example, last semester, I got an email from a student explaining that she had missed class because her roommate had been threatening to commit suicide. She needed to stay with her roommate, keep her safe, and get her the help she needed. I understand that she couldn’t come to class in the situation. But I still had to take 10% off.”

Really? REALLY? Who does that? “Sorry your roommate wants to kill herself. I’m going to have to drop you a letter grade for that.”
I decided that one day. I am going to bring a friend to class with me. “Hey, professor. This is my roommate. She is feeling pretty suicidal today, but, you know,  your class is my number one priority. Do you mind just asking the other students to keep sharp objects or prescription medications away from her? Thanks. You’re a doll!”


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4 Responses to Another Brick in the Wall

  1. Hannah says:

    I’d totally report her to the dean or tell someone high up what an awful teacher she is.


  2. Rachel Dell says:

    ick. i hate her. what’s with the irony of teaching degrees. hello. not funny.
    i feel for you. and if you did bring a friend to class i would give you something. i don’t know what. but something good.


  3. Mama San says:

    Some people never get over themselves. She sounds like the kind of “teacher” (I use the term loosely) whose students will become educated in spite of her!


  4. Raymey says:

    Hey Jess. You know, I was a music ed major until I took my first education class. I decided right then that I couldn’t last through any more of those. I’m impressed with your perseverance.
    Also, I have always considered myself something of a grammarian. I fear there are too few of us left in the world. You never knew we had so much in common, did you?


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