Friday, November 21, 2014

Millennial Narcissism? I think not.

I love my students, but gosh. I am so frustrated right now.

Are your students prepared for class?  What does “prepared for class” mean when you say it?  Does that mean the instructor has prepared everything for the students for class or the students have come prepared to participate in class? Whose job is it, this students being prepared to participate in class business?  I thought it was a combined effort – I do my part and they do their part.  I am starting to figure out that I am just plain stupid wrong.  I’m expected to do all the work here.

Over the past few years I have grown increasingly frustrated with student participation in class.  I’ve never had trouble with good class discussion.  So, I have been thinking they are just unwilling.  Unwilling to do the work.  Unwilling to put themselves out there. Unwilling to care.  You get the idea.  Unwilling.   

This semester has been the worst.  Why?  I really want to know.  I have been thinking about this quite a bit. This can’t be a simple case of millennial narcissism.   Why do they not take notes?  Why do they not read or watch videos before class? Why do they not feel any obligation to participate in their success?

I ask a question and they stare at me.  They don’t even bother to look down at their notebooks to avoid eye contact.  Guess why?  They don’t have any!  What is this note taking you speak of? -- I can see them thinking it.  

At one point it had become so ridiculous I just gave up.  After a series of questions about a video we had JUST watched (because they did not watch it on their own as was assigned) and nothing but blinking eyes looking back, I asked how many in the room were breathing.  Blink. Blink.  I then asked how many were no longer breathing.  On that one I got three blinks.  I think I confused them with math or philosophy or whatever.

So, I have been trying to do some reading, been trying to figure this out.  I know that I am going to have to change my approach, as I doubt they will change theirs.  Honestly, I have tried a variety of approaches.  Nada.  I am wondering if this isn’t the end of class discussion as we know it.  This is a blended class.  We have tried online and F2F discussion.  They are mildly better at the online approach, for obvious reasons.

Here’s the deal.  I am starting to think they are just not ABLE to participate.  If they can’t memorize it, then they don’t understand what learning is.  If I haven’t provided a work sheet or study sheet, they don’t know what notes are.  But by golly, they BELIEVE they will be successful. 

I don’t want to sound like I am beating these hopeful people up.  I love my students.  I really do. I think they are wonderful people, and I want nothing more than to be a guide to their success.  No sarcasm intended.  I just feel like I am not getting them there.  I also feel like every few years I have to lower my expectations one more notch.
What am I missing??????   I can find all kinds of articles about millennial narcissism and helicopter parents and a grand sense of entitlement, but I think there is more to this. Do you?

Just ventin’
Lee Anne

1 comment:

3motka said...
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