nicole rademacher

Friday, October 10, 2008


Students are pretty amazing.

Sometimes (a lot of times recently), I like to be rather foreboding about college students today. I can be rather cynical about how many lack the ability to think critically. I don't necessarily blame them or their former teachers, but somehow I am still coarse in my words towards them. There is no one to blame really. Well, no one in particular. It is a failing of our whole education system.

Recently I was told by a friend of mine that a very reputable university tells their faculty that they cannot give anything below a B- to their students. Why? Because students at that particular institution DO NOT earn lower than a B-. Hmmmmmmm. [You may be wondering where that information comes from: her mother was a professor there for a few years. Then she became fed up with the spoon-feeding and coddling, that she had to leave.]

I don't want to name the institution because I don't think it matters. All that matters is that it is an institution that is prestigious in academia. This is indicative of how our education system is failing our students.

Really, though. That wasn't what I wanted to post. I wanted to post about how wonderful and insightful students can be. I wanted to say that even when you assume that students will not listen and not be interested - they surprise you.

I have to be honest. I was dreading this quarter starting. I was expecting the worst. Maybe by the term's end that prophecy will be fulfilled (cross you fingers that I am wrong), but this first week has been the exact opposite of what I expected. Perhaps a lot of that is my own attitude when I walk into the classroom. Even though I was anticipating lazy and indolent students whose only thought was to be out of the classroom, I walked in and engaged them in an excited manner. I hid my dread through chipper and energetic talks. I was pleasantly surprised each class with engaged and thoughtful students.

I am looking forward to next week and seeing what creative and wonderful projects my students turn in!

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