Thursday, February 02, 2012

Why Not Just Walk Out?

What follows here is clearly, I hope, hyperbolic fiction.

My classes were being pretty rowdy the other day. Some students, frustrated by the reading and the task, began to talk, then shout and curse. I guess I could have pulled a few of them aside, helped them through it, and set them back on track. Or I could have asked the deans to remove the most disruptive students and resumed my lesson with the rest of the class. Or I could have adjusted my lesson plan and slowed down and helped the kids through the reading.

But why should I, when I could just end class and walk out after five minutes of struggle? After all, that's what our Chancellor does. And since he's the Chancellor, he must be the expert.

I don't know what happened after I left. I bet a lot of those kids are angry and disappointed that their needs weren't met and that they still don't understand the lesson. But that's not my problem, I suppose.

I wonder what will happen when I return to that class. Probably some of the most frustrated students--you know, the ones who most need the attention and support--simply won't come back. Others might continue the same behavior. And even the students who do get it will feel insecure around me, this teacher who walked out on them rather than struggle through the problem with them.

I wonder what would happen if every teacher behaved that way. All the time.
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