I never thought teaching would be this difficult. Every meeting is a practical mine of self-doubt.
Am I making sense?
Am I being credible?
Are these kids following me?
What are they saying behind my back?
More than finding time to prepare my lectures, it's looking the part and making myself professor-ly that's difficult. Minus 6 or 7 years, my students are the same age as I. And that's not exactly a different generation. Being more or less in touch with how they think, I am all the more reminded of how ruthless students can be to professors they don't like. Seriously, that's what's stressing me out.
And just recently, I had this "incident" when after attending an earlier orientation, one of my classes dissed me and missed my session. Save for a handful, most of them decided to skip my class... when they were in fact already in school! I saw them! I attended the same orientation for crying out loud! And to add insult to injury, they were pleading all sorts of excuses to extend the submission of a one-page paper I assigned last week. Geez, come on! It's a one-page paper!
I'd like to think that I'm very straightforward with my students. What you see is what you get. These are my requirements and these are my expectations. And I seriously doubt if I'm a terror professor.
I guess that's it. I'm torn between treating these guys as adults who can make informed decisions and treating them as kids who need to be trained and disciplined. But then I made a firm resolution early on that I WILL NOT BE A BABYSITTER!
It's kinda frustrating and I thank God that he made me a little clueless and dense by nature. I'm not really devastated by this recent power struggle. If at all, it made me think of maximizing my arsenal to drive home a point. And for graduating kids, I guess there's nothing more potent than their final grades. But if so, then why did they wage this "war" to begin with? Shouldn't they be bowing before me and throwing themselves at my feet?
Oh well, at least I get to exercise my patience and better judgment. I have no intentions of throwing a fit to express my frustration. In fact, I've made a mental note of how I should act if and when this power struggle escalates into an actual confrontation:
Dramatic pause 1.
Ask, "Ano'ng problema natin?"
Dramatic pause 2.
Ask, "Bakit niyo ako binabastos?"
Dramatic pause 3 followed by an even more dramatic bow.
Darc raises his head and says:
If I find nobody moving - and I do hope they find themselves stunned and off-balanced - Darc says:
"Get the hell out of this classroom... now!" in a raised but not shouting voice.
'Di ba? I may be frustrated and seething in anger... but I vow to at least do it in style.
Good luck naman talaga!