Posted by: CJ | January 31, 2009

The Educational Assembly Line

This quarter I’ve been feeling a lot like I’m part of an educational assembly line. I only see my students twice for 50 minutes every week, and the classes are  large enough that I barely get to know my students individually. It makes it even harder since I’m bad with faces and remembering many details about people. And the classes, as a whole, are generally fairly interchangeable from one quarter to the next. They have the same difficulties and the same terror of math. I also don’t see my students ever again after the end of the quarter, so it really feels like an assembly line where they pop up on a conveyor belt one minute and are gone the next.

I don’t particularly like this. Maybe I should think more seriously about, if I decide I want to be a professor, working at a small college instead of a large research university. The downside is there’s less interesting stuff for me to do at a small college .But the upside is my students don’t disappear forever after I teach them. (Well, and it’d be easier for me to know them individually, which would hopefully encourage them to be more interested and work harder in the course. As it is I’m often frustrated with students showing up who aren’t particularly interested in being there.) Another good thing about small colleges is they’d have the sorts of history and econ courses I’d want to sit in on for fun, and I do really like history and econ.

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