Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dealing With Slackers

So I have finally finished a year of being a student. In two semesters I took a Literature class (American Novel before 1900), a Drawing class, a Sociology class (Juvenile Delinquency), and an Anthropology class (Magic, Culture & Religion). I enrolled in classes at BuffState for a couple reasons, but mostly because I was bored while I was unemployed.

Being both a teacher and a student for the past eight or nine months have been interesting to say the least. I've written in the past about how I have a hard time flipping the switch to go from teacher to student. That's because the teacher in me just wants to jump up and yell at my professor to deal with the slackers in class. But it's not like I only came across slackers in my classes at BuffState. I have them as students in my classes as well. So I've come up with ways I deal with slackers:

If a student doesn't want to come to a class they've enrolled in, then they shouldn't show up. Just stay at home or go hang out with your friends or go to the mall or wander around on the internet if you don't want to be in class. But if you do want to show up, then show up! Don't just be a body. Actively participate. Do the work. In my classes Classroom Participation is at the very least sixty percent of the final grade. So if you have something that's more important than my class, fine. I ain't mad at ya. But don't get angry when you end up with a failing or near failing mark at the end of the semester. 

I'm not going to chase you down for a paper or an assignment. If you don't turn it in when it's due, then you don't get credit. I'll accept it after the due date, but don't expect to get full credit for it. And as much as I appreciate and like class participation, my class is not a democracy. You can't just vote for the day the exam will be. I set the days and times for tests, quizzes, exams, due dates, etc. Not you. If you don't like it, come talk to me about it and we can maybe figure something out. But don't come to me with "I think you should push back the exam because I have too much to do." Grow up. You know ahead of time how much work you need to do for each of your classes.

A little something that many college students don't realize: Your professor expects you to do two hours of work outside of class for every hour of in-class work. For example, if you have a three credit class, you need to plan to do six hours of work (per week) for that class. That's nine hours of in and out of class work for that one class. So if you take eighteen credit hours, you should plan on doing fifty four hours of work per week. So if you have a job, you may want to cut back how many classes you're taking. Or how much you go to your job. Or maybe cut back on sleep. It's up to you.

Okay. I'll stop there.
I'm getting a little angry now, so I'm going to end this post now, before I write something really mean.

If you agree, disagree, or just completely hate what I've said, comments are welcome!


  1. Well, Chaz, I'll be honest. I don't think someone who began taking 6 credit hours while unemployed should be giving "slacker" students who are taking 18 hours a hard time. I consider part of this post to be directed at an audience of which I belong, being that I took 18 credit hours and didn't always make it to Anthro - which you know because you were there. Taking 18 credit hours while working and writing and renovating an old house - not for fun but because you HAVE to live there - is quite a task. And yes, it was too much for me at times and I had to let certain things slip that I best reasoned were the least important. AND to pull four As, one B (in Anthro), and one C (in a horrendous mythology course I chose as a gen-ed and gave up on (on principle) by the end of the semester, throughout this crazy semester that was speckled with illnesses and debilitating injuries...well, I'm pretty damn proud of myself.

    I'm well aware of the time commitment of each credit hour I take, and I have been DAMN COMMITTED to my studies and my grades, managing to volunteer tutor people who weren't doing so well and taking fewer credit hours than me IN ADDITION to the hellacious amount of studying I did each week.

    It doesn't feel good to feel "lectured" for not doing all that and more PERFECTLY, by someone who isn't (wasn't) doing nearly as much.

    So that's the 18-credit-hour defense from my corner. DING DING!

  2. Wow.

    I am happy for your comment, but I honestly did not aim my blog post at you, and I did not mean to lecture you. As you know, there were a couple students in our class that played on the computer or just hung out until the attendance was passed around and then slipped out the door when our professor's back was turned.

    In my other class it was MUCH worse. This other class was the one I was thinking about when I posted this.

    Sorry if my "lecture" has upset you.