I think I’ve figured out why I like this year’s students. It’s because there’s nobody who has hit my radar yet that I feel I would need to brace myself to teach them. In previous years there were usually one or two who, right from the beginning, for whatever reason, had an attitude that I just didn’t gel with. I remember one who was a real ‘flouncer’ – she would flounce into tutorials, proceed to make them all about her (she had family links to the subject, so had some really interesting things to say sometimes, but was so OTT it was really stressful and disruptive). Another was very sarcastic about the course, was doing it as a last resort option and wasn’t remotely interested (though, irritatingly, was very good at it). So he did the work, participated in classes with intelligent contributions yet in such a sarcastic and belittling way that the entire group was affected, and I found it really difficult to manage. This year, so far, I haven’t come across anyone like that, and it’s just such a relief. I can cope (at the moment) with not-brilliant students, as long as they make an effort (which they seem to be doing, so far) and don’t exude that whole “I don’t need to be here” superior aura thing.
Thanks for comments on yesterday’s post. I know it’s what it’s all about, and yes I can usually muster up something to get enthusiastic about (with the exception of the role-play tutorial, which I loathe with a passion and always will). If in the course of the discussion I see a connection I hadn’t noticed before or otherwise have some sort of lightbulb moment, that’s satisfying and I think I can put that across. If one of the students says something analytical rather than descriptive, and show that they really do *get* it, it’s still really rewarding. But, none of that will stop me from feeling sick on Monday nights and not wanting to teach on Tuesdays. I think it’s a Pavlov’s dog thing – when I realise it’s the night before teaching, I get an automatic response. It doesn’t matter how irrational it is, I’ve been doing it for long enough now that it seems to be hard-wired! Anyway – I will pick up on a couple of the comments in a separate post some time – but not now, the teaching has worn me out! 😉