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Author Topic: Disinterested college student, engage or ignore?  (Read 7275 times)

Senor Boogie Woogie

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Disinterested college student, engage or ignore?
« on: September 09, 2008, 10:22:19 AM »

Hola!

Saw my first batch of students on Monday. Our department is about 80% female, and many of my classes are all girls. Many of them want to learn the language and are very eager. The school that I am teaching does not have the best students (I call it community college)

I saw to my chagrin a girl I had last semester. This girl is very pretty, but she is very strange. For one thing, she looks like she is about to cry, like her boyfriend dumped her or something was going on with her. I thought there was when I first met her, but then after awhile I saw she was always that way. The "eternal period" girl.

She has absolutly no interest in the class, and seems to really hate being in the classroom, almost like its a painful experience. I can understand that, there were many classes (English Literature and Accounting for example) that I hated being there and had no use for except for credit. But, this class is for English majors and she just isn't with it. When I call on her with a question, she gives me a quick 3 second response and ignores me.

Like I said, I had her last semester and her English oral final was awful, she didn't know one answer, although I gave the students the questions and the possible answers the week beforehand. I gave her the lowest possible score, since I am not allowed to fail a student. Now she is back like an uninvited farting house guest. I wonder if I should even ask her questions, or leave her be. I would like to ask her why she is in a class and a program that she seems to dislike. Maybe it is me. Not everyone likes me. (they all dont like YOU EITHER!) I personally think she is bi-polar or something weird

As an aside, the girl is from SUZHOU! Please take her (cute) ass back.

Senor





Lotus Eater

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Re: Disinterested college student, engage or ignore?
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2008, 11:13:34 AM »
Leave her be.  She is probably there because her parents have paid for her to be accepted and she really doesn't want to be there.  You didn't get her inspired last semester,  unless you do something radically different this semester, you won't again.  She knows that she will pass anyway, without work, so her view is logical - why bother doing something you hate?

Ignore her (sometimes a good tactic with passive-aggressive tactics), concentrate your attention and time on the ones who want to learn.  She will either be happy to be ignored and do her own thing, or she'll decide that her tactics aren't working and she'll try competing for your attention by involvement (or being bad!).

Shroomy

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Re: Disinterested college student, engage or ignore?
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2008, 12:12:24 PM »
Or maybe she is depressed and unable to be interested in your class, but her parents force her to attend.  Again, leaving her be is the safest thing to do.  Humiliation or confrontation could be counter-productive.
Back home and still confused about what the locals are saying.

DaDan

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Re: Disinterested college student, engage or ignore?
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2008, 01:05:15 PM »
very good chance she has peoblems outside of class that are always on her mind & few people she could share them with depending on what the problems are.

maybe don't fully ignor her but might be best to not force her into full view of the class by asking her questions are commenting on her lack of interest.

I once had a lovely student that changed dramaticaly over one spring festival, from all smiles & many friends to nearly how I picture the girl you discribe.
The next year, a FT from Canada at same school, 47 year old mom type, had the girl in her class, after a couple months, the girl began talking with the Canada teacher in private, she had no one else to talk to.
Poor girl was being raped by the head master...
Chinese teachers knew but kept one eye open, one eye shut fearing their jobs.
The Canada lady talked with a few female teachers & found this is a very common thing.

Canada lady lost her job & left China soon after screeming at the headmaster in the dinning hall in front of everyone using her good Chinese bfbfbfbfbf


me pappy sayd... 
Once ya get past the smell... ...:P ... `You got it licked...

James the Brit

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Re: Disinterested college student, engage or ignore?
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2008, 02:49:51 PM »
She probably has personal issues. Try and figure out what they are. Have a chat with her after class.

But if shes is just being a spoilt brat, kick her out.

old34

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Re: Disinterested college student, engage or ignore?
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2008, 03:06:34 PM »
Sometimes talking to the class monitor can help, too.
Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad. - B. O'Driscoll.
TIC is knowing that, in China, your fruit salad WILL come with cherry tomatoes AND all slathered in mayo. - old34.

Schnerby

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Re: Disinterested college student, engage or ignore?
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2008, 06:48:39 AM »

 I personally think she is bi-polar or something weird


Not attempting to start a debate or be overly critical, but seemingly thoughtless remarks such as this can be quite offensive.
Please be careful.  agagagagag

Lotus Eater

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Re: Disinterested college student, engage or ignore?
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2008, 06:58:14 AM »
If you want to find out what is the problem - then after class is the time.  In the meantime your responsibility is to the WHOLE class.  If she wants to talk to you, she will take the opportunity.

But if she has underlying problems - consider how deeply you want to be involved?  What will you do IF she tells you she is being raped by her father/classroom adviser/monitor?  What will you do if she does have severe depression, mental problems?

Talk to her other teachers. Do they have similar problems?  Is it just English, just your class?

But not much you can do in class - leave her be there, work for the majority.

cheekygal

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Re: Disinterested college student, engage or ignore?
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2008, 09:37:57 AM »
Leave her be. Unless she disrupts the class.

adamsmith

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Re: Disinterested college student, engage or ignore?
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2008, 04:41:20 PM »
great advice from everyone. but the key is let her know that if she wantrs to talk you are receptive - no matter what the problem is. after you find out why - then you can worry about what to do. until then treat her like any other student , without putting any pressure on her. if she trusts you and likes you she will tell you, if not teach the rest of the class and let her be whatever. It is, after all, her choice of whom she will confide in, and if it is as personal as what some of the others have 'suggested' as a male teacher you will probably never discover this. You have to remember you are dealing with the age old problem of how do "men" talk to "women". it doesn't happen easily. We don't understand them and they understand us to easily. uuuuuuuuuu

Lotus Eater

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Re: Disinterested college student, engage or ignore?
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2008, 12:17:57 AM »
let her know that if she wantrs to talk you are receptive - no matter what the problem is. after you find out why - then you can worry about what to do.

Be careful with this.  If the problems are things you aren't (can't) going to do anything about or don't really want to know, if you encourage her to confide in you, then let her down, you are only adding to the problems. One more person who has 'abused' her.  This time her emotional trust.

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: Disinterested college student, engage or ignore?
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2008, 02:13:27 AM »
Right. So DON'T offer to talk to her if she feels the need, because you can't promise to have the answers. Sure.
eeeeeeeeee
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"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

Lotus Eater

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Re: Disinterested college student, engage or ignore?
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2008, 02:24:28 AM »
NOT what I said.  If you don't want to know, know that you AREN'T going to do anything, then you are setting her up to fall AGAIN!! 

If you are genuinely interested, want to provide support, then listening may be what she needs, and she can work out her issues from that support base.  BUT - this takes TIME (weeks/months...), your emotional energy, preparedness to listen, empathy, and a whole bunch of patience.  If you aren't prepared to put that in - then DON'T even start down the track.

But we have to know our own limits as well.

Too easy for FTs here to figure they know better, have the answers, can click our fingers and cure the students.  We AREN'T gods!

And toss in cultural differences as well.  This is NOT easy.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2008, 02:59:39 AM by Lotus Eater »

Raoul F. Duke

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Re: Disinterested college student, engage or ignore?
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2008, 03:02:53 AM »
If you don't want to know, know that you AREN'T going to do anything, then you are setting her up to fall AGAIN!! 

Then I guess I truly AM confused, sorry. If I didn't care and didn't want to know, I'm having trouble seeing why I'd offer to talk about it in the first place.

Quote
If you are genuinely interested, want to provide support, then listening may be what she needs, and she can work out her issues from that support base.  BUT - this takes TIME, your emotional energy, preparedness to listen, empathy, and a whole bunch of patience.  If you aren't prepared to put that in - then DON'T even start down the track.

Again, I had not realized this. I'm grateful for the edification. bjbjbjbjbj

Quote
But we have to know our own limits as well.

Mmmm.

Quote
We AREN'T gods!

Yeah? That's not what it says in MY contract. aeaeaeaeae ahahahahah

I'm in a very bad mood. I should probably stop reading this stuff, hunh.
"Vicodin and dumplings...it's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

"Here in China we aren't just teaching...
we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

Lotus Eater

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Re: Disinterested college student, engage or ignore?
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2008, 03:06:54 AM »

I'm in a very bad mood. I should probably stop reading this stuff, hunh.


You want to talk about it, RD?  ahahahahah agagagagag