Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thick and Thin Skin in the College Classroom

I know something about disrespectful students, but professors need thick skin. No one who is hypersensitive, who assumes that student inattention is to be received as an attack upon one's person, should become a college professor. Good professors overcome such insecurities. Good professors also overcome student inatttentiveness by commanding their attention and respect, not by ranting but by manifest character and by teaching ability. 

Just after informing his students that "My bad side is as bad as my pleasant side is pleasant," this thin-skinned professor at Cornell University goes into a rant after he hears a student audibly yawn.


david_hatton said...

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Hilary Chaney said...

Thank you for teaching....what a blessed vocation. I’ve just started blogging about my own manic break and hospitalization. It’s about recovery and treatment, but more importantly about discovery of a new post-religion faith where there is no hell, no original sin, you are God, and heaven on earth is real, radiant and right around the corner. A wild and triumphant ride. http://graduatingfromgod.blogspot.com/

Pilgrim said...

Nice how he shifts blame for his outburst of anger. "Don't push me to this point again."

abcaneday said...

Blame-shifting seems to be the default plan of action upon such outbursts. Blame others for one's own failure to restrain one's temper. Then, when called upon to "apologize," shift the blame again with weasel words, such as, "If I offended anyone. . . ."

DubV said...

The prof overreacted, obviously, but we do not know if the yawn was so exaggerated as to be purposefully rude. If a student in my classroom was doing an exaggerated yawn in my face over and over, I would call them on it, but in a matter of fact way and probably after class.