I felt a special connection with a recent Death & Taxes Magazine article, which centered on an 11-year-old boy in Spain who had apparently faked his own kidnapping in an attempt to avoid an ominous parent-teacher conference.
On the day of the conference, the kid texted his dad saying he’d been abducted and thrown into the trunk of a car. After two hours of police deployments, perimeter placements and viral spreading of the kid’s picture, his dad discovered him in the family’s second apartment.
Needless to say, the little guy is in some grade-A trouble with his parents, and the apprehensions surrounding his parent-teacher conference have been relocated to the back burners of his mind.
It can, at times, be too easy for students to feel separated from their professors.
Whether it’s the absence of smooth contact or the simple but ever present annoyance of their subjective treatment, there is an indisputable breach between students and their teachers.
It’s this nagging gap, the empty space between individuals and their superior figures that creates a window for failure.
The frustrating and sometimes confusing communication hinders both parties’ ability to efficiently reach the final goal, which we call “education.”
I’ve noticed this issue several times over the course of my schooling, and it can be seriously lame.
I’ve had teachers who could not have cared less about my progress as an intellectual being, and I’ve had others who made it seem like they were just too busy to truly play a part of my journey through school.
As enlarged as the aforementioned example may seem, it stood out to me, in relation to the communication problems in schools.
Obviously, this story is set within a much different context than any college or university, but the root cause of the problem is the absence of open communication between student and teacher.
In no way am I defending his maniacal behavior, but I can’t help but think the kid reached his breaking point because he felt like he had no where else to turn.
It saddens me to think someone could miss out on the fun of learning simply because he or she didn’t feel like an appreciated or worthy part of the process.
Even as freshman here at Virginia Tech, I’ve already taken classes that have made me feel like I was completely on my own.
Granted, dealing with issues independently is a part of growing up and preparing for life in the “real world.” However, within a semi-isolated system such as a college or university, where the main focus is teaching and development, I feel that help should be easier to locate.
Providing an email and office hours, which the majority of students can’t even attend, during the first session of a course just isn’t getting it done.
Particularly, at a research institution such as Tech, it is important to continuously look for ways to raise the efficiency of learning both inside and outside of the classroom.
Improvement in faculty-student communication is imperative and relies both on the professors’ willingness to reach out and the students’ choices in utilizing what professors offer them.