Sunday, February 04, 2007

Señora Goodgrades

University Diaries links to this story about a kindhearted Spanish teacher who inspired her relatively advantaged university students through her simple ways and fácil As. In fact, she had a rush of football players who sought her out after hearing about her inspiring teaching method. I love this line:

"You come to my class and work, and I see you want to learn, I'll give you an A. I see some lazy ass, coming late all the time, acting like he doesn't care, I won't give him an A. I'll give him a B."

So "above average" but not "excellent"? Muy bueno!

Of course, you can imagine how difficult super-teachers like this make it for us total assholes who give grades based on whether or not the student learned what they were supposed to learn, and not if they seem like they really want to learn, or if they're really nice, or if they sure do like us. We're pretty much the party poopers of higher ed.

But, like I've said before, the common element in all of these newspaper stories is the adult who wants the kids to think she's cool. And so my second favorite quote:

"The most important thing in learning is that everyone likes the teacher," she said.


jingyang said...

"Everyone likes the teacher"?
I can't believe that she is 73, and can say that. Just goes to show that age doesn't necessarily bring wisdom. I long ago came to the conclusion that no matter what I do, some students are simply not going to like me. I reckon it is simply impossible.
Also,I don't think it necessary to 'like' the teacher, respect perhaps, but like, no.
One advantage of teaching in Japan and Taiwan at least..there was much less of the idea that the teacher had to be your "friend".
The best quote I read once was someone saying about kids and parents being "friends": "a 6 six year old doesn't need a 40 year old "friend". They need a parent. "
Same goes for teachers.

Rufus said...

Exactly. When you're 18 or 19 you're not really supposed to like your teachers. Some students do like me, but I definitely don't expect it or make it a goal.