To confront or not to confront?
November 29, 2005 4:40 PM Subscribe
Is it foolish to confront a teacher about his behavior in class if our final is in one week?
posted by Who_Am_I to Education (35 answers total)
Tonight in class, instead of teaching, one of my teachers singled out a particular student and told her that her negative comments during the semester had been detrimental to the class, said that she acted like she was 'in junior high', said that he had never had anyone act like she acts in class, and eventually asked if she would like to defend herself against these charges.
Although blind-sided like this, she handled herself very well, and drew some shocked support from the rest of the class. He later told us that he was glad that he was not teaching the next course in the series because he didn't want to deal with us again (both parties are relieved that this is the case it seems).
We are a small class in a small department, and most of us have had this teacher 2 or 3 times before, although I don't expect to have him again. He has something of a reputation for not teaching well, and this student's comments often reflected the class' frustration with his teaching style. The frequency of these comments was maybe 1 or 2 per 2 1/2 hour class, and would probably be considered sarcastic and somewhat disparaging.
My feeling is that this was completely inappropriate and unprofessional behavior on his part, and that he should have confronted her outside of class. Also, it seems that he should have said something early in the semester to head this problem off instead of waiting until the last day of class (when this was mentioned he claimed that it would have 'damaged the class'). He claimed tonight that he had discussed the 'situation' with the department chair previously, although he didn't go in to any more detail than that.
Well, I'm home now and I was about to email the professor to let him know how I felt, but then I hesitated. I have this teacher for two classes right now, and our finals are next week. I am concerned. This already seems like an incredible breach of student-teacher ethics for him to basically tell us that he hates us, and then expect to go on to grade our finals.
Not writing until the semester is over is an option, but it seems like we should all be saying something now if we're going to at all. Writing anonymously doesn't really seem feasible since there are only about ten of us in the class, so it wouldn't be much of a mystery. If I don't write at all, I will be tacitly supporting what he did.
What should I do?