Monday, September 27, 2010
My Favourite Kind of Student
This may seem impertinent, or it may seem rather commonsensical and therefore superfluous.
My favourite kind of student - not exactly the ideal student, but, in my opinion much more enjoyable to have around and actually the kind that best aids the learning process - does well, but does not necessarily get the highest marks.
I will use the masculine pronoun here without prejudice.
He does the readings.
He has a brain. And uses it while reading and in class.
He makes others feel comfortable (including me!), doesn't intimidate others, nor attempts to dominate the discussion, but always participates in it.
He says such things as,
"Well, the reading seems to say that..."
"I cannot agree with the author (or Dr. Kerr) when he says... because..."
"I didn't understand what he meant by..."
"Can you repeat what you said? I'm confused."
"Okay, so how does this fit into the big picture?"
Moreover, he shows up on time, he takes the subject matter seriously, but not joylessly. He might even wonder what to read to find out more on this topic (a professor may dream!). He believes that learning is important and yet fun.
Classroom etiquette is everything, full of the je ne sais pas-es that turn what is a fine craft, into a great craft when in place, but, when absent, make teaching and learning a miserable, if not impossible experience. I have been a part of wonderful classes and classes that should never have been. I have been a part of great teaching moments, and really bad ones. In the end, it takes both teacher and student to make this happen, and I find that I have been blessed with such great students this year. I want to teach them. Last year was the worst, believe it or not. I am really enjoying the blessings God has sent me this year.