Disrespect in the classroom is rampant. Many students don't even know their professor's name or how to pronounce it by mid-term, much less recall the names of faculty members from the previous semester. During a timed lab exercise recently, I had a student call out to me across the room, "Hey, dude!"
Once, while discussing the nature of classroom manners and decorum, I had a woman pipe up from the back row: "Listen, man, I paid $300 for this class, and if I want to sit here and trim my toenails, that's what I am going to do."
From this rant by a pseudonymous professor in the Chronicle. The serious, relentless rant ends on a positive note, though:
just as you feel the bitterness becoming more than you can stand, you get a reminder of what keeps you in the business.
Just today, I got not one, but two such reminders -- e-mail messages from former students thanking me for my rigorous approach to education. Looking back, they said, it not only has helped them in their careers, but in their lives.
I suppose teaching is, like golf, a maddening endeavor. In golf, even after 50 bad shots, if you accidentally hit a beauty, life is good and you love the game and you don't throw the clubs in the lake after all. In teaching, even if you get 50 students who don't care, it's those one or two each term who keep you coming back.
Reminded me of one of the reasons why parents feel that their kids make them happy!