Author Topic: Dealing with my classmates and professor  (Read 1958 times)

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ILoveMyCello

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Dealing with my classmates and professor
« on: July 19, 2013, 02:48:24 PM »
Hi all,

I am taking an elective class to finish an endorsement program to add Reading onto my teaching license. This is a Masters degree class-but the class is designed for students in a special fellowship program for those who have never taught to get a quick Masters and teach in an urban school district (they have to have a science or math degree). When I signed up for this class, this disclaimer was not on the website.

There are three of us in the class who are certified teachers. A majority of the class grade is based on participation. The problem is that my professor has repeatedly asked the three of us to participate more in class. We try to, but we usually get interrupted and discredited by the fellowship students, and I'm sorry to sound mean, but most of what they say is very incorrect and not valid (it would be like me taking a med school class!). The professor doesn't do a whole lot to steer the direction of the conversation either.

In addition, the class is based on Urban Education, and we spend a majority of the time talking about Marxism, gay marriage, and legalizing pot. I have very little background in those topics, and I'm not sure how they relate to education, but I could tell you a lot about the book "A Framework for Understanding Poverty" and good classroom management techniques.

WHat should I do? I didn't drop the class because the first couple of weeks were not as bad as it has become now. Plus, I wanted to finish my endorsement program. In addition, while I don't agree with the prof's method of teaching, I will probably take more classes with her in the future.

guihong

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Re: Dealing with my classmates and professor
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2013, 02:58:02 PM »
You might try talking to the professor first.  Failing that, try your advisor, or the dean of the department. 

Other than that, I'd watch my grade carefully, and as long as you are passing and will get the endorsement, stick it out.



doodlemor

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Re: Dealing with my classmates and professor
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2013, 03:26:46 PM »
You might try talking to the professor first.  Failing that, try your advisor, or the dean of the department. 

Other than that, I'd watch my grade carefully, and as long as you are passing and will get the endorsement, stick it out.

POD

I'm a retired teacher.  A lot of the courses I took back in college in the 60's were bunk, as were many of our "in service" courses.  Just get the certification that you need and move on.

I wonder if your teacher thinks that she will alienate the other students if she corrects them very often.  Perhaps she thinks they will learn from you and the other experienced students.  Not fair, but such is life.

RingTailedLemur

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Re: Dealing with my classmates and professor
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2013, 03:34:56 PM »
I think it is worth talking to the professor about it.  Couch it in terms of "how can I get the most out of this class".

The problem is that my professor has repeatedly asked the three of us to participate more in class. We try to, but we usually get interrupted and discredited by the fellowship students, and I'm sorry to sound mean, but most of what they say is very incorrect and not valid (it would be like me taking a med school class!). The professor doesn't do a whole lot to steer the direction of the conversation either.

Then say that.  Say you have been interrupted and explain why you disagree with them.  Adapt some of your classroom management techniques to make yourself heard.



Quote
In addition, the class is based on Urban Education, and we spend a majority of the time talking about Marxism, gay marriage, and legalizing pot. I have very little background in those topics, and I'm not sure how they relate to education, but I could tell you a lot about the book "A Framework for Understanding Poverty" and good classroom management techniques.

Perhaps you could mentally reframe this as an opportunity to learn how these topics affect teaching.  You never know, such an issue could arise wherever you end up working.  I know it is difficult to feel shut out of a class.  Perhaps you need to be a bit more forceful in pushing yourself back in?

Twik

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Re: Dealing with my classmates and professor
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2013, 05:30:16 PM »
Education classes at this level tend to be extremely political. I've had to sit in lectures biting my tongue at what I judged arrant nonsense; to then be told I wasn't participating enough might get them more of a reaction than they expected.
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darkprincess

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Re: Dealing with my classmates and professor
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2013, 05:47:21 PM »
I agree with Lemur and doodlemor.
focus on getting whatever requirements you need, and watch your grade carefully. You many not get what you were thinking you get out of the class, but you will gain lots of knowledge it seems on gay marriage, marxism, and legalizing pot. Just think of it as an unexpected elective that gets you the certificate.

I also went to college after I had done a significant amount of work in the field I was studying. I wanted to get the piece of paper from higher ed so I could demand higher pay. The thing I learned the most is that proffessors who have only been professors cannot always teach you what happens in the field. I also learned that my fellow students were their to learn which is why they didn't understand the field either. I made sure that I contributed just enough and tried not to take personally what people who didn't know what they were talking about said or did. I decided that I was too invested in a class to drop out and have to start over again, potentially with the same outcome.
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AnnaJ

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Re: Dealing with my classmates and professor
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2013, 09:06:19 PM »
Hi all,

I am taking an elective class to finish an endorsement program to add Reading onto my teaching license. This is a Masters degree class-but the class is designed for students in a special fellowship program for those who have never taught to get a quick Masters and teach in an urban school district (they have to have a science or math degree). When I signed up for this class, this disclaimer was not on the website.

There are three of us in the class who are certified teachers. A majority of the class grade is based on participation. The problem is that my professor has repeatedly asked the three of us to participate more in class. We try to, but we usually get interrupted and discredited by the fellowship students, and I'm sorry to sound mean, but most of what they say is very incorrect and not valid (it would be like me taking a med school class!). The professor doesn't do a whole lot to steer the direction of the conversation either.

In addition, the class is based on Urban Education, and we spend a majority of the time talking about Marxism, gay marriage, and legalizing pot. I have very little background in those topics, and I'm not sure how they relate to education, but I could tell you a lot about the book "A Framework for Understanding Poverty" and good classroom management techniques.

WHat should I do? I didn't drop the class because the first couple of weeks were not as bad as it has become now. Plus, I wanted to finish my endorsement program. In addition, while I don't agree with the prof's method of teaching, I will probably take more classes with her in the future.

This sounds like one of those 'close your eyes and think of the endorsement'.  Read and discuss the readings; consider talking to the other two students and do a bit of additional research in those areas so you all can participate more without dealing with negative feedback from other students.  Don't talk about your classroom experiences or engage the other students about incorrect opinions, just smile and talk about the topic.

In an ideal world your experience would be respected, but at this point class survival is important so go with what works best for you and your goal.

Elisabunny

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Re: Dealing with my classmates and professor
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2013, 12:50:54 PM »
My teacher DH would refer to this as "jumping through hoops."  Just finish the class so you can get the endorsement you need.
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GSNW

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Re: Dealing with my classmates and professor
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2013, 02:00:58 PM »
Agreed with others - grit your teeth and finish it out, and hopefully you can get *something* from this class.  Make it a game to search for one concrete thing every lesson/discussion you can bring to the classroom.  I would also be very candid in my post-course survey, assuming it is an anonymous-type survey.

I am reminded of a class I took in undergrad.  I wrote an essay that my professor didn't agree with, so she gave it a D and the only feedback was "You are very naive."  I wrote from her perspective the rest of the semester and took my A.