[Clayart] being direct....words...

Vince Pitelka vpitelka at dtccom.net
Wed Dec 18 20:23:51 EST 2013

Arthur Lee wrote:

A very narrow response to a very particular statement: "...it simply never
happens face-to-face with my students...."  Teacher - student is always a
power relationship; it may be warm, friendly, even collegial, but, so long
as you are the one who gives out the grades, it cannot help but be a power
relationship.  So, don't be surprised if no one complains: none of them
would think it worth a bad grade.

Hi Arthur - 

I know it is considered a power relationship of sorts, but what you describe
does not apply to my students. They know that they can say anything and that
I want them to challenge me and tell me what they really think and that I
would never hold it against them with a grade.  I cannot imagine ever doing
that, and my students know that.  I am trying to build self-confidence and
autonomy, and the last thing I would ever want is for them to be afraid of
me.  That would be completely counterproductive.  I know that there are
faculty who relish keeping their students afraid of them, especially the
teachers who have to ride herd over huge lecture classes.  I could never do
that, even when I taught large lecture classes at NDSU.  I've always loved
the dynamic of sharing information with my students, and cannot imagine
employing fear and power as teaching tools.

- Vince


Vince Pitelka

Appalachian Center for Craft

Tennessee Tech University

 <mailto:vpitelka at dtccom.net> vpitelka at dtccom.net   

 <http://iweb.tntech.edu/wpitelka/> http://iweb.tntech.edu/wpitelka/  




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