Teaching for virgins

I am now officially a teacher. Sort of. Well, kinda not really. I’m a “demonstrator”, which just means I get paid less than a tutor for taking a class.

Today I had the good class and the naughty class. Just to keep things interesting, for my Very First Class Ever I had the naughty class. Typical. Little Ms Naive here wasn’t expecting to have to yell at a bunch of third-year uni students to get them to shut up. For two hours. I know all you seasoned teachers are pissing yourselves laughing at this point, but holy bejezus, can’t they hear their HECS debt accumulating? Or is it only Masters students who are aware of how much their education is costing them?

Mind you, I’m just showing them how to use Photoshop (and later Dreamweaver), which doesn’t really allow for a lot of discussion and different opinions. I wish I could teach them something more interesting.

Still, that’s my teaching hyman officially broken.

And I get to do it all again tomorrow with two new classes.

16 responses to “Teaching for virgins

  1. There is always a class that will try it on. You have to go really cold, really still – find the weakest link & stare him/her down until they stop talking. Eventually if you show no fear & say nothing they will shut up. Occasionally if it goes on too long you can always pack up your belongings, leave & immediately go to see your Head of Department. I did that once and never had the same problem with any class ever again (I taught at an ex-technical college turned University, it was like something out of Tom Sharpe’s Wilt:

    “The man who said the pen was mightier than the sword ought to have tried reading “The Mill on the Floss” to Motor Mechanics.”

  2. you could always try the clapping pattern thingy all the primary school teachers in my course are so enamoured of… (actually, please don’t).

    I’m with lawandshoes. Stop dead still. look bored. cross arms. commence death stares. a terse ‘thank you, let’s continue, shall we?’ when order is resumed, and then we’re all smiley and engaging again.

    If they take a while to settle down during the intimidation phase, I also suggest writing something on the board along the lines of “This is a waste of my time and yours”. Mwahahahahahaaahhahahhahahahahahahha. Psych!

  3. Every now and then I get a student who makes a nasty remark about my NZ accent, or NZers in general (c/f a funny-teasing-I’m-sharing-a-joke-with-a-tutor-I-like remark). First time, I say, I don’t find that funny. Second time, I say that next time I will walk out the door. I’ve never got to the third time, but believe you me, I would walk.

    They don’t pay you enough to take that kind of nonsense.

  4. Can’t you make them write lines or something?

  5. I like the Julie Bishop death stare option!

  6. Secret parenting law: the quieter you are, the quieter they are…

  7. I don’t believe that kids just out of school are aware of the size of the debt they will end up with. I did the rounds of the Uni’s with my year 12 child last year and at none of them were any of the kids or their parents told what the cost would be for them to get a BA or BSc. I did ask the question at one uni that took the trouble to have an administrator available for questions but she couldn’t give an answer to me.

    I find it appalling that there is no disclosure on costs up front and feel that there is a conspiracy by the government to have whole generations of kids beholden to them.

    • You’re right – there is no discussion about how much debt you’ll be in when you finish, and how much that debt will eat into your salary and for how long. One of my best mates did psychology honours, worked for a few years and then went back and did post-grad medicine – and is an awesome doctor – and the debt she has as a result means she’ll be renting for a long, long, long time. And this is exactly the kind of education doctors should have (psych and medicine), yet the debt is crippling.

  8. Pingback: Teaching me | the news with nipples

  9. awesomeness!
    i wish i was in your class when you are trying to be angry.. that would be fun to be persistently annoying. ]

    and yes.. Masters students are the only ones who care about the cost.. ($20k for two years.. OUCH.. there you go UOW).

    • Phatmaniac, I have no doubt that you would be the naughty student.

      Luckily the other three classes were great.

    • I decided not to do a Masters because of the cost…..it was available up front. Instead I am doing another BSc…….silly me…… it is going to cost considerably more for a lower qualification. That is why I am aware as a parent of what my children will be up for and why they really need to question if they are choosing the correct course.

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