04-07-2017 06:19 PM
For over 30 years, I have been teaching a variety of Speech Communication classes at several colleges. Currently, I'm teaching traditional college courses at Chabot College and contract courses at the College of San Mateo and San Jose City College.
Interpersonal communication is the most rewarding class I teach because students learn tips, tools, and techniques that they can apply to almost every facet of their lives. Students discuss topics not often taught in other classes (such as the stages of a relationship or what constitutes emotions) as they learn how to engage with others. Watching a shy, uncomfortable student open up to others or seeing an aggressive student working hard to listen more makes teaching this course a joy. Students teach me more than I could ever teach them. I am happiest when I see students embarking on a journey of self discovery and leaving the course better prepared to handle life's challenges.
The biggest challenge I have is getting the students to purchase the textbook. Most of my students are on financial aid, and the textbook is expensive. Another challenge is getting students to write adequate journal posts. Do I provide several examples (and risk stiffling creativity), or do I provide no examples and see what happens?
04-09-2017 03:24 PM
Hi, Rae Ann:
I see that you have a similar problem with the textbook(s), even though the text is required for the class. I, too, encounter a number of students who receive financial aid, yet cannot seem to find the money to make that purchase to contribute to their success in the class nor their future successes. I imagine that you, too, find it exasperating to have them enrolled, but all they know is what is discussed in class (on in the online course, on the LMS) and have no clue what is in the textbook unless they find a "friend" in the class with whom they can share...FAR less likely in the online course. I have to emphasize to the bookstore and the students the urgency of having that text available for purchase. I also have to try to find sources other than the bookstore (Amazon, etc.) where the book might be obtained more cheaply (so long as they purchase the correct edition). Sometimes that works for me, other times, not so much. Such a recurring problem.
Happy to have someone with whom to commiserate, but sad that the problem is relatively widespread.