I am aware I'm writing two posts immediatley after each other. HOWEVER, I feel that one (though semi-complaining) was a little more lighthearted.
Now, I feel I need to have a bit of a genuine whinge/rant/yell-at-the-wind moment.
I like to think that I am a pretty patient/understanding person, and goodness knows I give others entirely too many chances. I understand that mature aged students asking what I feel are ridiculous questions, are simply their tools for learning. I understand that sometimes discussion must be had in class for comprehension of what on earth is going on.
However, when the phrase "I'm going leaving this lecture after the break to go tan" is uttered in a no-way-quietly-whispering voice directly behind me, followed by 45 minutes of constant talking, that patience quickly fizzles. I dislike confrontation, especially being the instigator of it. But I
tell you, I was about ready to use anything I could put my hands on as
a weapon after saying "Guys, stop talking!".... twice
I have an automatic respect for teachers, it's just the way I am. I know from experience that it is hard to do your job when it seems like people dont want to be bothered. I also know how frustrating it can be when you need to concentrate to understand the basic idea of a topic, and something breaks said concentration.
On a similar note...
One teacher (different class) recieved abusive mail because of her apparent lack of ability at shutting everyone up (to be honest, I suspect it's the same group). She was explaining it all to us, about what and why, and started crying, even though she was trying desperately not to. She's thin as a rake and looks pretty fragile at the best of times, let alone when shes been shaken, so it was heartbreaking to sit there and watch.
It made me furious - she isnt everyone's cup of tea, but to just ... be so spineless about it?! Really doesnt sit well. It still gets me riled up thinking about it.
At the same time, it was inspiring to see student after student raise their hand or stand up and tell her that she was doing a great job, and the students were full of it, and not to let it bother her, the class was better off without them showing up, closely followed by a huge round of applause from the 200 people in the room.
I dont think I'll ever forget that. It's only small, but it gives me hope.
(as does the fact that it's easy to trace emails sent from an Uni account, and the penalty for harassing other students or staff is not something you want to discover by experience)
In Social Psych we've been talking about social sanctioning, and how, when left to their own devices, some groups enforce their own rules (such stopping people pushing in at the bus stop) - I think the same applies with talking in lectures - you get told as a group once 'you want to talk, do it in the hall'. After that, it's up to everyone else to slap them on the back of the head and tell them to shut it.
... If only it were that simple.