Thursday, April 30, 2015

I Know The Feeling

As a retired college professor who was part of the Texas A&M System, I had dreams of doing this more than once.

None shall pass: Texas prof flunks entire class, then quits mid-semester
A professor threw a Texas-sized tantrum flunking his entire class mid-semester and quitting after complaining that students mocked, threatened and ridiculed him...

"I am frankly and completely disgusted,"Texas A&M Galveston, Professor Irwin Horwitz told his business management students in a blast e-mail, according to Inside Higher Ed. "You all lack the honor and maturity to live up to the standards that Texas A&M holds, and the competence and/or desire to do the quality work necessary to pass the course just on a grade level."

"I will no longer be teaching the course, and [you] all are being awarded a failing grade."
That is, of course, an over-reaction of epic proportions. Most professors can recall one or more classes that drove them crazy. However, we found coping mechanisms that helped us avoid such a complete and total meltdown. (To paraphrase W.C. Fields, I once had a class that drove me to drink - for which I was very grateful).

The university had no choice but to rescind the class-wide F's. Another professor will teach the class for the remainder of the semester, and the students' grades will be reassessed.
A spokesman for the university told the education publication that "all accusations made by the professor about the students' behavior in class are also being investigated and disciplinary action will be taken" against students found to have behaved inappropriately.
Like I said, I sympathize with the professor in this case, even if he did wig out. I had very few behavioral problems with my students. What drove me up the wall was the quality of their work. You can find a couple of examples here and here.


Bag Blog said...

My SIL teaches at St. Ed's in Austin. Right now she is struggling through the end of the semester. Yesterday my brother (her husband) reported that her work is intensified by students who do substandard work. Even though St. Ed's is supposed to have higher standards than the average college, she is amazed at the low abilities of students.

Old NFO said...

Don't envy y'all... I couldn't do it.

CenTexTim said...

BB - Over the 15+ years I was teaching I saw a steady decline in how well students were prepared for college. I don't know the cause - teachers unions, standardized tests, lack of reading for fun, video games/social media, little parental involvement, etc. - but I do know the effect.

NFO - if you can teach young seamen just out of basic, you can teach college kids...