TEACHING (re-post)

Filed Under (TEACHING, work.BLOG.MEM) by WildFire on 16-01-2008

Leigh, still pining for that Incubus concert, pointed me last week to a nice blog that talked about teaching.

My first reactions to this were...

'This is isn't teaching... this is baby sitting!'

Beh-bee... sitting!

(Mind... is... fighting... The. Dark. Forces... that are pushing the fingers to link to that Babysitters pron dvd link. Must. Not. Link. Must... not.)

Babysitting.

Spoonfeeding... included.

With matching twinkidoos woochoo woochoo.

(And those endless-but-always-entertaining (to a two year old (not you (sadly))) Barney reruns.)

...

The way we view teaching differ.

These views differ from one person to the other... from one place to another place.

If you're a student, probably teaching for you is different when you're an actual teacher.

It must be.

Then again it depends on if you're a lazy student or the other. That is... a lazier student.

Now if you're a teacher it depends also whether you're still that renegade fresh out of college aspiring to change the world.

Or... that veteran-tired-of-changing the-world-nothing-still-happens so-let's-just-give-them-all-passing-grades so-everyone-can-be-HAPPY!

Then the view that most of us tend to overlook... the ADMIN/OWNER-of-the-school's point of view.

(Yes... in CAPS LOCK (And yes I do use that CAPS LOCK so forget those petitions to remove that key in the standard keyboard lay-out (Go strain yourselves, shit-err-shift-lovin'-humans)))

To these admins, failing grades lead to less enrollees... less enrollees lead to less income to cover the expenses.

Less income leads to fear. Fear leads to to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

I won't even delve into the profit part.

Not all admins really.

We've worked closely enough with around 25 private and semi-public schools/universities for the past 9 years to realize that there are still those who are wiling to sacrifice income for a better quality of education.

Good luck to them.

To us database programmers working for schools and universities, we see those teachers only as records.

A row in the database file.

Until they start bitchin' and whining and doing that I know it all attitude.

That and their endless delays in submissions of records with erroneous IDs/Names that fvcks up the spag-recursive powered checking of our systems.

Back to that blog.

After reading that one... I searched Parcel (my primary PC) for a file I made eight years ago.

TeachingPrinciples.txt

I scribbled that fresh out of college.

Fresh from the sufferings and tortures endured during my own comsci student life.

It's blood I smell... and 'Revenge' chants were still vibrating in my brain. (With matching rubbing of palms and evil grin)

Probably those growling 'Seek-For-Revenge' howls were the ones that subliminally triggered me to accept that junior database programmer job for TheUniversity's computer center (later renamed to MIS).

I can teach part time in the same workplace... in between coding.

I'll get my chance at ThatRevenge.

Payback time, baby.

Payback time.

Before I drag you more into this revenge mindset let me post the un-altered contents (except for the hyperlinks and minimal comments) of that file.

Please note that these were my views/principles/way of life 10 years ago.

I was in my 20s then... still aiming to change the world one starfish at a time.

That of course and the quest for TheRevenge.

Probably if things permit, I might be accepting a teaching gig again.

And I might still be following these things.

TEACHINGPrinciples.txt circa 1998

Never lecture what can be read in the book... clarify some parts but re-lecturing what is already there is pure bullshit. (Yes I cursed a lot in text files back then.)

Some questions must not be answered by the teacher unless the student has spent one week without sleeping trying to solve the said problem.

Considerate teachers produce lousy students. Period.

Only wimps check attendances and uniforms.

Two words: TOUGH LOVE. Sometimes you have to punish them for them to learn... you can't bring a soldier to war by baby-sitting him/her in his/her training... college ground is a training ground and believe me... it's a war out there.

Give more than enough time for a given project but don't remind... it makes no difference... they'll still be doing it at the last minute.

Give extensions and stretched deadlines as much as they can possibly be given... hehe i'm quite soft on this one... but i was asking for much extensions when i was a student... it's about time i give something kind for that kindness shown to me before.

Challenge them... even to the point of de-humanizing their souls.

People first before subject matter... college doesn't really mean you're teaching the subject matter alone.

Always believe in that 'Smooth seas do not produce skillful sailors' notion... as well as John Patrick Mason's (Sean Connery) 'Losers always whine about their best winners go home and f-ck the prom queen' line. (From The Rock)

Others including you have done it before... there's no way an impossible problem can't be solved.

... and always make them smile even if you're doing the things mentioned above.

Tough love... it is.