When students want to co-teach class

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Wow.  If they are final year students in a first year course, presumably this isn't their major.  I'd be tempted to ask them what qualifications they think a professor has.  Chances are most of the other students in the class think they are pompous a$$es. I know you can't do this, but wouldn't it be great if the next time one of them says that, you stop the lecture and tell them if they are so close to being a professor and knowledgeable about the topic that they are welcome to finish the lecture for you.  You then sit in the front row and ask the questions.

Oh, I had three of these in a class when I taught at a community college.  They kept referring to each other as "social scientists," yet they were nowhere near getting their associates!  Drove me crazy all semester.  I finally got to the point where I was writing on their papers, "Oh, so what studies have you completed on these topics?"  Everytime they made a smartmouth comment I would ask them if they actually read the research or knew the scholar's work we were referencing in class.  They made all the other students feel uncomfortable and every time this group said something I could see the eyes rolling in the class. 

Of course, these three also went straight to the dean about me to complain that I wasn't smart enough to teach the course.  I would count that as one of the worst semesters I have had in my career!

Let them.

Have them develop a lecture on their proposed topic and have the class grade them on how effective they are.

Wake up call, indeed.

Quote from: prof_smartypants on February 16, 2013,  4:51:18 pm

Let them.

Have them develop a lecture on their proposed topic and have the class grade them on how effective they are.

Wake up call, indeed.

I agree.

I would give them a lecture to do. I would make it part of their grade. I would say something like: "I love budding professors, so I'm going to help you out. Give me a lesson plan and you can teach the class for the day. It will be a part of your grade." Then I would let the class have a go at them. Nothing like throwing students to the lions for them to shut-up.

Having a lecture to do is perhaps one percent of a professor's job, and I would tell them that, too.

Now, having as many as hundred lectures to do per semester, dependent upon courseload, plus having to do grading and advising and student emails and 'copter parent calls and other aspects of teaching -- that's about forty percent of a professor's job at an R1-2; adjust dependent upon type of campus. 

So, if they want to do the professor's job, they also have to sit through at least one interminable committee meeting that day alone, and they have to prep for it to be ready to contribute and/or cope with foolish fiats, and maybe they have to take minutes and type them up and send them out, too.

And, of course, if they want to do the professor's job, and keep the professor's job, how are they doing on that article, that book, etc., that they have to do early in the morning or late at night?

I remember when, early in my career and coping with all that as well as possibly losing my professor job, I wailed to a colleague, "all I wanted was to be a teacher."  He said, so wisely, "well, that's the problem right there -- because your job is to be a professor."


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