So, I am teaching a Spring class, and we are about halfway through, and there is one student who is not doing well. Most of them are motivated keeners who are asking how to make their B+ an A, but this one guy is just not engage. You know, comes to class with his iPod in, can’t always be bothered to take it out, never contributes to discussion, hands in half-assed work days late, that kind of thing.
Last night I had the chance to chat to him, and I said “I am a little concerned that you are not really engaged in this class, and that’s going to be reflected in your grade. Are you okay with getting a C-/D+?”
His answer was “I am in theatre performance so I don’t see the point of any academic class, and I am fine with just passing.” Then he offered to pretend to care. Because, you know, acting.
There are a ton of things I could get worked up about over this little exchange, and I did kind of gesture at this by saying to him, “are you so sure there’s nothing of value being offered in this classroom?”And it vaguely crossed my mind to suggest that if, in the unlikely event that the the whole acting thing didn’t pan out, he might want some literacy skills to fall back on.
But then I thought, I have 20 people in this class who care about how they do, and who want to learn, why expend any effort on this guy who doesn’t give two shits.
Which is freeing and depressing both at the same time.