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Listening to a prof talking about his course on ‘Residential Development’ today, he  was going on about how he wants to see 35 hours of work per credit and see a
reflective critical thinking product. How he uses this expectation as a scare tactic to  ensure that not too many people take the class. He went on to expound on how he
filters students who have taken over 18 credits other than his course and then  proceeded to list off external jurors he brings in to critique his student’s projects.

Observing my reaction to this (which I unfortunately don’t seem to be able to control), he quipped “I’m cracking you up, aren’t I?”

Well, imagine that! I was far from cracking up.

As students, our favourite pastime was to crib about the sheer crazy amounts of work that profs seem to love to dish out. I remember one batch in my undergrad school
actually wrote out a list of all the submissions they were expected to make in a week and stuck it up on the noticeboard for all to see – a very clearly conflicting and
messed up schedule – just so that all the faculty could understand how crazy the demands were – the faculty were not amused, but they had to back down, for that
instance atleast. Our second favourite leisure time activity, almost every evening or in our late night craziness was tearing apart the critiques we received.

Listening to this prof’s joy in listing out his actions, I was pretty torn between appreciating his enthusiasm, his ‘vision’ if giving the students a dose of reality and
feeling outraged from the students p.o.v. about making it deliberately difficult, unnecessarily so.

Being both a student and instructor now, I keep veering b/w both, especially when it comes to student work, involvement and grades. Do we just become more holier-
than-thou as teachers or do we actually get more objective and have more clarity of thinking, once we remove ourself from the persona and pressures of being a student?

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