Apathetic Students

27 Apr
Dear Colleagues:
I thought you would appreciate the following post by Professor Isaach Sweeney, an assistant professor of English at Richard Bland College in Virginia.  Sweeney talked about “Apathetic Students” ( in his March 26th post and shares one student’s response to his comments in today’s post:  

“As a student who pays for my own education I view myself as my teachers’ employer. I am paying for a service and I should be able to consume as much or as little of that service within the pre-determined bounds that I am paying for. It is your job as a teacher to make class-time engaging and necessary for success in the classroom. I have been through far too many classes where everything covered in the lecture was in the book and attendance offered no tangible benefit to me in terms of achievement on the exams. In these cases as long as the teacher doesn’t score points for attendance, which by the way is absurd, I would simply elect not to attend class on many occasions and still get an A in the class.”

How did Professor Sweeney reply?    

Read “Dear Student” (

Suggested additional reading:

Barkley, Elizabeth F. Student engagement techniques : a handbook for college faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010. Print.

Wootan, Fred C. Not in my classroom : a teacher’s guide to effective classroom management. Avon, Mass: Adams Media, 2007. Print.

Warner, Jack. The unauthorized teacher’s survival guide : an essential reference for both new and experienced educators! 3rd ed.Indianapolis : JIST Works, 2006. Print.

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Posted by on April 27, 2012 in Article, Reading List, Teaching Experience


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