I come to class prepared all the time, every time. I make sure to come on time so that I am relaxed and have time to think. I do not mind that my students are sometimes late. I do mind when my students are late on the one occasion that I ask them to come on time. We had guests who agreed to travel all the way to Makati on a Saturday when they’d rather be resting. The professionals that they are, our guests were in our room at the appointed hour with only one half of my millennials present. Gasp. I didn’t want our guests to wait and got on with our program at 8 am. I tell the early birds that in real life, stockholder’s meetings and analyst briefings start promptly. I think we were in the middle of the first presentation when the other half started to arrive. Maybe they had a good excuse. Maybe they are habitually late and one reminder won’t change them. By being late, they were telling me that their time is more important and so I’m annoyed.
Tardy submissions irk me as much as being late does. I’d give a reasonable task (usually a one pager) and deadline, and one or two will submit late and ask for a reconsideration. Do I relent? I most certainly do not! I tell them that in real life, one is disqualified from participating in a bid when his/her bid documents are late. The plane leaves when one is not at his/her boarding gate at boarding time, right?
Follow the rules
It bothers me that my graduate students can’t follow simple instructions. The topic was responding to snail mail or formal correspondence. I asked: without writing a letter, identify the most important issues that you would respond to if you were the technical assistant. Oh yes, they still wrote a letter! 😦 Maybe one fourth of them which is still a lot (n = 9). And of course, they didn’t get the letter right because they weren’t even able to identify the issues in the first place.
Is it a case of not paying attention or not being present in the moment? Is it the busyness of having to do various responsibilities? But I share my slides with them which is why I don’t understand why some get it and some don’t.
Mind your manners
I’m quite relaxed in class. I don’t mind if my students check their cellphones, or if they tune out because they’re working on another subject. I understand that they have to multi-task. I also treat them like the adults that they are. I hold them responsible for what they miss. It’s graduate school, after all.
I didn’t like it, however, when on the same occasion when we had guests, they took selfies instead of paying attention to the discussion! We had an event where we had communication practitioners in class to share their insights. It was shameful that some were more concerned that they had enough selfies. Sure, they were probably having a little fun. I get that. I encourage fun. In class, we laugh when something is absolutely hilarious. Learning should be fun even as adults. But taking selfies as others were still presenting just wasn’t right. It showed lack of respect.
As I teach, many more things will annoy me for sure. It’s part of what I signed up for. But because I’m old school, I’ll do what I can to change the world – one student at a time.