Friday, 16 March 2007

Teaching Nightmare

It's been 2 weeks now since I began lab demonstrating. It's kinda scary and weird playing the teacher rather than the student in the lab. It's really not easy trying to lecture around 26 20-year-olds, many of whom are way bigger than me in size. Plus I've been so "fortunate" that the class I teach is full of noisy students. And it doesn't help that I look like a high-school kid either.

When I took the first class last week, one of the guys in the class kept laughing at me. He'd glance up at me talking, start laughing, glance down at his work and back up, start laughing again, glance down... Well you get the picture. It was a most disconcerting thing! Still, it wasn't as bad as this week's class, where 2 of the noisy ones (guys of course) were actually drinking beer throughout the lab! Ordinarily students do occasionally bring in cups of coffee or soft drink cans with them, so I didn't give much thought to them bringing in cans, assuming it was some soft drink. So I basically didn't realise that it was beer until as the guys were leaving, one of them said, "I suppose you would like us to take our beer cans with us." Like @#$%%^#$^@#?!!!

Anyway, so I mentioned it in the staff meeting today and apparently this is the first time they've come across students audacious enough to do something like that...and consumption of alcohol isn't allowed on campus premises. The head demonstrator suggested that I should swap labs for a week with one of the other bigger, scarier demonstrators like herself. The guys volunteered of them's the "clown" of the psyc department really and he wanted to swap so he could make them cry. lol Funny how guys come up with "solutions" to problems...'beat the other guy and make him cry' seems to be the first solution they think of. Even my flatmates, when I related the incident at tea last night, the guys went, "Ok we'll come with you to class next week and beat them up." I've swapped with the head demonstrator for next week though, so perhaps she can scare some good behaviour into them...or my class might decide I really suck...sigh

Marking assignments is another tough thing...and trying to decipher handwriting or what the students are trying to say. Then there's the issue of what grade you should assign them. I'm not looking forward to marking the major reports which don't have a "right answer"...marking is gonna be rather awful. Plus we have to calculate standard deviations for the class grades and make sure we distribute marks according to a normal distribution. Can't escape's everywhere!

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