11 November 2006

I Didn't Know I Was Superhuman...

Or so I thought...

I never realized that students sometimes really think that teachers are just... well... different.

That they are not human.

I realized that today.

I gave the fifth quiz-slash-test to my students today. Of course, they took the whole hour to do it. And one student took her time, and was the last one to pass her paper. Upon handing me her paper, she said,

"I hate your quizzes."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah, I do."

"Ok."

I resisted to retort back, and I started to walk out of the room with my TA, when she asked another question,

"What is my standing right now?"

"I don't know. You'll know my Monday when I give the white sheet (progress report)."

"Don't you know it right now?"

"No. I am not superhuman, you know!"

"I thought you are! You seem like it."

I just walked out of the room.

I was hurt. Especially when she said that she hated my quizzes.

Once a professor told me, that in order to succeed in a class, a student must think that the topic of the class is the most important thing in the world at the moment. And for me, when I teach every morning every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the topic of my class is the most important thing in the world. That is why I prepare well.

Later in the day, I saw her again. She was in my office, talking to my officemate. She saw me grading the quizzes and so I mentioned,

"I'm already grading the quizzes you hate. By the way, in case you didn't know, if you hate my quizzes, you are always welcome not to take them and earn a zero."

Her problem was that she was being too familiar. Sometimes, it is not good to use sarcasm with your instructors.

As a teacher, I don't want to be cold to my students, I want myself to be approachable to my students, that they would feel comfortable asking me questions. But not too comfortable that they could use sarcasm on me.

I was hurt, and I let her know that.

Teaching does have its ups and downs. Still, I am loving the experience.

Ain't I masochistic? I don't think so.

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