Saturday, April 26, 2014

*Please Politely* Stalk Your Teacher (subtitle: Please email or call your teacher if you have a problem)

Nothing annoys me more than many in this new generation of students. 
Whether they are struggling in a class, need more info about an extra credit assignment, or just a quick question, it seems there is a lack of initiative on a student's part to be proactive.

Here is what I mean. While tutoring, a student complained about how he/she couldn't stand the teacher and that the teacher was harsh. This went on for several sessions until I asked the student if she/he spoke with the teacher.

Me: Did you at least drop them an email?
Student: Nooo...
Me: Why not?
Student: I don't wanna bother them!

Another student had a last-minute assignment during Finals' Week. After assisting, I asked the student if she/he was turning in the assignment by email. The student said no, that it had to be delivered to the teacher's office but the student had never been to the office the whole semester, and needed to start searching for it.

Me: But you went there before, right? To your teacher's office?
Student: No, not really.
Me: But why not?
Student: *shrugs* No real reason.
Me: Do you have an idea to find the teacher's office?
Student: I can look on the syllabus.
Me: *Raising my voice* That isn't the point!

Really? You're insulting your instructor, believe the person to be unfair, but instead of you asking them directly, you're going to complain to your tutor, or text your friends, rant on social media, and nowhere in sight does your teacher know of your tribulations because YOU DON'T WANT TO BOTHER THEM?

What is going on with these students? 
When I was in college, I remember my friends and I practically stalking our teachers! We would know where their offices were, know their office hours, and practically be found camping outside their doors when they arrived. We read our syllabuses/syllabi like Bibles until they were worn. We didn't use email addresses to contact our instructors because few people had emails back then. They had telephone extensions and we called these numbers. We made appointments too, according to and around the professors' office schedules.
The only thing we didn't do was follow these instructors home! 

Why when the choices of communication were so slim, my generation knew how to contact and TALK to our teachers? 
Now that we can text, email, go on a variety of social media - some of these instructors have their own websites! - and even interact almost virtually, nobody wants to 'trouble' their professor? Foolishness!

You are in college. You are supposed to be an adult. Don't presume that by sitting back and doing n-o-t-h-i-n-g will grant you understanding and countless boons of academic favor! It will not work. Once you don't stay engaged in your college/university life or remain proactive to your success, just take the bitter pill and swallow it.

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