Again, I’ve been sitting on this, weighing how I feel about it. A colleague received a scathing message from a student. This in itself is not unusual. We’ve all gotten them before. I even had a student who ripped into me because I would withdraw her from the class after the semester had ended (other teachers, however, allowed this).
The scathing message, though, was cumulative. After all of the stress, the indignities, and incidents from the semester, it was, in my friend’s words, “the last straw.”
In two years time she went from a completely dedicated instructor who was widely recognized for her compassion, creativity, and going well above and beyond to help her students. Before this last year, she had never had a student complain or send a scathing message to her.
But that was then. This is now. The student population has shifted. Such complaints about instructors are now commonplace, even habitual. It seems that the only way an instructor can avoid complaints is to become a poor instructor. If an instructor makes a course ridiculously easy, never challenges students to think, never offers any kind of constructive criticism (because obviously the students are already perfect at everything) they will be regarded well by the students and be successful.
More and more teachers are reaching the final straw. And the ones who remain? Well, I know many of us are eyeing the door, waiting and planning for the time to be free.