I am learning that I have to really push myself to do work for a class that I do not care about. As a junior, I am mostly taking classes for my major or my minor, classes that I am interested in and enjoy. There is only one class that is not related to my future career, and that is a beginning Biology course. The lectures are filled with young freshmen, the professor puts his slideshows online, and attendance is never taken. Why would I want to go to class? I definitely do not. However, I realize that I need to attend the lectures so I can take more detailed notes than the slideshows provide so that I can receive better grades on the exams. I need to have good grades in all of my classes because I need to have a high GPA for my program. I often feel as if it is a waste of my time and a pointless required course, but it is still important to my future.
If my Biology professor and the TA were to sit down and have a conversation about my potential success in that class I am certain that BETWEEN HIM AND HER, they would say I would do well as long as I focused in my weekly labs, completed all my homework, and studied the textbook. They would not admit that to me because they are supposed to encourage me to go to class every day. I am a focused student with goals. I’m willing to work for where I want to go in life. I do my homework, attend all of my other classes, as well as hold a job and volunteer positions. I could use the time of the class period to catch up on sleep, or do other homework that is relatable to my future career. I consider MYSELF a responsible student.
I am also learning that as I get further along in my education, I receive more respect from my professors. From the beginning they have expected us students to be mature and be responsible with our schoolwork, but have still treated us as unintelligent children oftentimes. Now, in many of my classes they are run more as a group of future teachers (as that is my career path) working together to figure out how we will be able to be effective in our classrooms. Obviously, the professors with their higher education and years of experience, know far more than the students, but they treat us more like adults and professionals. They encourage us to help each other, giving input and advice to create materials we all can use in the future (and by “we all” I am referring to the students/teachers-in-progress). My professors are encouraging and believe that we know a lot more than we students even think we know. They give us more credit than we give ourselves sometimes.
From volunteering in high school classrooms, and being involved in my own classes, I have noticed that when students are treated with respect as intelligent beings they are more motivated to do well and be respectful in turn.