An Anonymous Teaching Journal
02 April 02
This has been a common concern for myself: What do I do with students who are just as stubborn as I am when it comes to certain issues? I was facilitating class the other day, and the topic was homosexuality. Should homosexuals be allowed to marry? Also, should homosexuals be able to adopt? The subject of the essays to be read for that day were along the lines of the first question.
Many of my students in the first class of the day, as well as my last class, are open to MANY opinions. They almost have to be to deal with me and college, in general.
So, we begin conversing. A particular student seems quiet opinionated in the opposite direction of most of the other class members. And to my thoughts. This doesn't bother me, personally, but I find myself not knowing how to handle the student's remarks as well as keeping the discussion going towards some sort of vague conclusion- where many arguments and discussions lead, of course (that should just be the way it is, right?).
Many students commented to me after the discussion about the way I handled it all. They seemed to think that what I did was okay. There really was no other way. Some mentioned that is was good for me to back away and let other students bring up the contrary to this student's feelings. At least then it doesn't look like I am 'attacking' that student. I simply agreed. It's difficult to determine the 'correct' way of going about those type of sticky situations.
In high school classrooms, it would be taboo to discuss those things. This, though, needs to be changed.
Overall, I like teaching my classes. They keep me on my toes, and there is nothing that I really 'can't' say. There is nothing they can't say either that will disturb me, unless it is about myself, I suppose.