The spring semester is coming to an end – which means social media is full of students complaining about faculty and vice-versa. Recently, a Twitter account, College Professor (@ReadtheSyllabus), came under punching down / arrogance / ignorance accusations after a tweet making fun of the “dead grandparent” excuse. Since then, there is actually an interesting conversation on student shaming.
At this time of year, please try not to make fun of students who never came to class, read the syllabus, did any of the work – or who failed to master even the most basic concepts in the field. They didn’t fail you. You failed them! So no punching down!
— Associate Deans (@ass_deans) May 8, 2018
As I was writing my course reflections, I realized it was very difficult to talk about higher education without, well, some level of student shaming. At the end of the day, the students are part of the learning process and they need to invest heavily in their own learning both inside and outside the classroom. During the last four years, I found myself to give instructions that I thought were just common sense:
- Such as the interpersonal communication tips,
- Please take off your headphones in the classroom.
- Please take off your headphones when we are having a one-to-one meeting.
- Or ‘there is a reason why you are given those documents’ trope,
- Refer to the textbook and in-class discussions in your final paper.
- Your grading will be based on the rubric – that is why it is called the grading rubric.
- Read the syllabus.
- Keep the handouts I am distributing in class.
- Or ‘who on earth would consider this to be okay’ part,
- Do not fall asleep in the classroom
- Do not fall asleep in the classroom two weeks in a row.
- Do not fall asleep in the classroom three weeks in a row.
- Or my favorite one – I have no idea how many times I sent this e-mail:
- You realize that you sent me this e-mail while you were in my class…while I was lecturing…while you were supposed to be listening…