Q: Do students ever object to learning your material for religious or moral reasons?
A: This has happened to me. And wow, is it ever unpleasant.
I've taught things that offended people's deeply-cherished beliefs regarding human sexuality, American society, and the nature of life itself. And I've ... More →
Q: Do you get upset when students know things you don't?
A: Of course not.
I mean, of course students will know things I don't. For example, I don't watch much TV, get to the movies very often, or keep up with popular music. Yes, I'm old. ... More →
Q: What do you do about the students who just don't care, or those who don't try at all?
A: Sophocles once wrote that "Heaven ne'er helps the men who will not act." More recently (by which I mean in 1175 CE), a wit in the ... More →
If you haven't already, please go read parts one and two of this series.
When last we left our dashing young hero, he had seen his dreams of higher education deferred if not shattered, and he was working at a job with no future. What's a ... More →
Hopefully, you all read part one of this series. If you didn't, please do so now. Go on. I'll wait.
Everyone caught up? Good. Let's continue. As promised, I shall now engage in an autobiographical anecdote.
I didn't go to college right after high school. It's true! ... More →
Q: What happens if I don't get into the college I want?
A: Application deadlines are at hand, and you might wonder what happens if you don't get into the school you want. Here's what you'll want to do: Sell all your possessions, don sackcloth and ... More →
Q: Do you ever make exceptions to rules, such as late work or cell phone policies? And if so, when?
A: It's a truism that nothing is certain but death and taxes. And that's how I feel about classroom rules. Really, there's no rule that can't ... More →
Q: Does it bother you when a student argues about a grade?
A: It depends.
Naturally, no one is perfect, and teachers make mistakes while grading. I've made them, for sure. When that happens, I don't have any problem with someone pointing it out. I don't have ... More →
Q: Are people naturally good or bad at math, or do some people just say that to excuse their laziness?
A: Everyone is naturally good at math. If you couldn't do math, you wouldn't be able to survive. And I don't just mean being able to ... More →
Q: What do you think when you see a student falling asleep? Do you take it personally?
A: What? My classes are so scintillating no one could ever fall asleep!
In all seriousness, though, this is not the sort of thing that any decent teacher would take ... More →