NPF: THE HALLS OF KNOWLEDGE

Posted in No Politics Friday on September 14th, 2012 by Ed

I recently changed jobs, and now I ply my trade at a smaller, private, teaching-oriented university. This is a culture shock, having spent my academic career (if it can be so labeled) at massive, research-oriented state institutions. Not only is teaching the subject of zero shits given at such places, but the tenure process (and faculty culture) actively discourages putting any effort whatsoever into teaching. So if you were curious, kids, that's why all of your classes at State U. are terrible.

This is not to say that I find myself in an idyllic paradise of outstanding pedagogy; in fact there is good and bad teaching to be found here just like anywhere else. However, it is noticeable how much more teaching is talked about here. It is a thing people actually think about and attempt to do well, even if unsuccessful. Talking about teaching leads to one of the real perks of academia: the teaching Horror Story.

It has been a while since I did one of these crowdsourced NPFs, so this one is all on you. I could tell you my stories, and in fact I occasionally do in the odd post, but where's the fun in that? What's the worst (hopefully in the amusing sense, not in the "One of my classmates shot someone" sense) thing you've ever experienced in a classroom setting? Who's the worst teacher you ever endured and why? There is no right or wrong way to approach this question. You can mine your life experiences for anything from preschool to grad school. I'm sure you have some sordid tales of amazingly inept teaching. Let's get a nice blooper reel going here.

And…go.