I’m kinda weirded out today. I showed my class at College of St. Benilde Rashomon to discuss cinematic adaptations and found them less than enthusiastic about the whole ordeal. I have about eight students who share their thoughts and insights but the majority of them are just sitting there. I don’t know. I hope they are listening but I was hoping for something else entirely.
I’m not used to this. I remember teaching Philippine Literature and World Literature in De La Salle University — Main and the discussions were free-flowing and open. Maybe it’s because I was teaching Business or Engineering majors that they were so happy to have a class that was subjective and opinion-based. I just wanted them to think about the stories and the poems and not to take things literally. I think they enjoyed that.
I’m just surprised that these kids have nothing to say. They can’t even say that they liked it or not. They are just there. Quiet. Looking at me. I’m asking for their opinions and their thoughts and they don’t seem to want to share any of it.
I’m thinking it might be my teaching style. They probably do not like me. But this is a major subject for students majoring in Digital Film. I would think that film majors would be more inclined to talk about movies.
I was told to expect a rowdy class and people had asked me if I could handle it. I could handle a class filled with ideas and a class dying to express themselves. I’m just shocked at how difficult it is for me to reach them.
Is it a generational thing?
Were things so much different for me when I was a student and, later, when I was a teacher at the early 2000s?
I have so much to share with them but I keep feeling like I’m getting shut out and I believe that it’s my duty to find the way to reach them. That’s my job. I don’t expect them to care. I remember what it was like being their age and just waiting to graduate so people come stop telling me what to do. I remember being their age and just wanting to be a grown up and wanting to work and be a fully-formed person.
I need to get through to them and let them realize that I have something to share to help in their future.
I don’t want to get strict. I’m being very lenient with them right now. I’m doing everything that I did when I was teaching in DLSU back in 2002 and 2004. But it’s not working. Do I become stricter? Do I start to enforce discipline?
I don’t know. But I have to realign my whole idea of what I’m doing in that class because I’m not reaching out to them.
I gotta figure this out.