They’re talented, capable, some even gifted. But there’s an attitude that often pervades the classroom and it needed to be addressed.
So I sat on my little stool, leaned in close and said, “We need to have a family chat.”
It got really quiet when I said, “In the library the other day? I was really disappointed.”
The upshot is this: when you’ve had some academic success, it’s pretty easy to just think, “Yeah, I pretty much know it all.” And then nobody can tell you anything.
So what do you do? You disrespect people by acting like they and their words are of no value.
You can have all the success in the world, but if you can’t treat people with respect, it’s just not worth much. Because you’re missing something crucial, central, elemental.
They listened, and I hope they remember. I realize they had heard some of the information being presented before, but that still doesn’t mean disrespect is in order.
I know what it’s like to sit through something you’re not crazy about; I’ve heard my share of slow speeches and long sermons. I shared that with my students. And I also shared what I’ve learned over the years: that there’s something to be learned in every situation, no matter who you are.
It’s a good lesson; in fact, I remind myself all the time.