Sunday, 13 February 2011

Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children.

It's my first blog, be gentle... I tried to make it funny, realised that was way beyond me so took out all the wit and pith. Well, there's some pith.

I love my job. Genuinely, adore it. Not just because I can spend the day at home in my PJ's at no notice, or because I occasionally get to go to really nice places on conferences. I love it because I love science. I am a geek.

There is a problem however. And if I'm going to spend the rest of my career at a middling provincial University, this problem is not going away.

The students.

I generally don't like students (not a great thing to admit for an educator). In fact, there are subtypes of student (those with deliberately weird facial hair, those that wear beanie hats in the summer and those that play frisbee indoors) that I would like to see tortured. But if the students I have direct contact with work hard then I can forgive them their studentness. In the past I would have added even if they're a bit thick. But that's changing...

My latest two students (3rd year Applied Biology students) are killing my head. One of them doesn't speak, the other one does a remarkable impression of rain man. Every utterance she makes hurts my brain. These are some of her classics..

When being told to meet me in room 10 and actually going to room 12: "This one has a 2 in it"

When asked if she had timed an experiment: "I noted the time we started. But I forgot it"

When asked if she'd seen a very basic molecular biology technique: "Yeah, you know those things when you go to a University and look around. I think I saw it there"

I could go on but there is no cathartic release in retelling this, in fact it makes me feel rage.

Who is to blame for someone getting to the end of her degree and still not being able to follow simple commands or understand the difference between a 10 and a 12?

Probably me if the VC has anything to say about it...

The Colonel

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