A stab in the enthusiasm

The prick in the arm is nothing compared to the prick at the university.

The prick in the arm is for a blood test and is quickly patched with a sticky plaster. The prick at the university has a much more lasting effect.

A story that was related to me recently tells of him more or less killing the student’s enthusiasm for their subject by dismissive, offensive and ineffective remarks disguised as critiques.

Anyone who has any idea about teaching at all knows that critiques need to be as much about encouraging the student to take the work forward, rather than making destructive and in this case petty criticisms about what’s already been done.

But then there are ‘professionals’ who are so unprofessional and so up their own arses they think that students should be grateful for anything that comes out of their esteemed mouths.

I don’t think so! And disrespectful behaviour towards students disgusts me beyond words.

And here we are encouraging our enthusiastic and motivated young people to go to university because we think that for £9000 a year they’re going to get some professionalism and raise their game. For, pardon my naivety, but I thought universities were supposed to be somewhere our young people could rely on for professional guidance and inspiration. That appears to be an assumption we can no longer make.

I am hoping that the good outweigh the pricks. Although from these stories – this isn’t the only one I’ve heard – I remain concerned. I hear of grade ‘A’ students leaving University because the quality of the teaching and tutor support is so poor.

We have become so used to not questioning professionals, both in schools and Unis, that maybe we are settling for less than we should be. And perhaps students who experience anything less than professionalism need to start complaining and asking for their money back! For after all, they are paying HUGE premiums for a service in return – a service some are not always getting.

For unlike my blood test, a prick like this takes some getting over. And as parents we perhaps need to stop taking the professionalism of universities as a given, and weigh up carefully whether university debt is worth it, whether we want our young people to endure unprofessionalism like this just to jump through hoops, or whether other less expensive routes might serve them just as well.

4 thoughts on “A stab in the enthusiasm

  1. Absolutely priceless lol. Although after my laughter I then realised that my efforts to HE my daughter so that she becomes a more rounded person could be thwarted if she wants to g to UNi? Lets pray then that the system alters soon as I seriously don’t think any student should begin their working life being in debt? Thanks for the giggle Ross.

  2. I laughed out loud at this, but my laughter was slightly hollow… my son managed to survive his first couple of years at Uni with not much thanks to some of his teachers!

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