Thursday, August 22, 2013

I'm failing because my instructor cannot speak "English" - Shame on You!

AGGH – It continues and no one cares. Last week I stopped at my local veterinarians to pick up some medication for my dog. As I was waiting to pay at the counter a young vet assistant approached the counter and told the person waiting on me that she is so stressed out because after her first week of class she knows she is going to fail her Math class at college. “It’s just not fair, I can’t understand him and even when I ask for help he talks so fast he makes me feel I’m the problem and not him because he thinks he speaks perfect English.”
 I have written on this before (since 2006):

I told her I would not leave his class or presence until he answered my questions. You are the customer of his and it is his duty to provide you with the answers and help you need. It’s so easy for me to make a bold statement like that because our educational system does not recognize students and parents as customers. The classroom is still run by “Absolute Power” of the teacher and administrators of the college (K-12 too in many cases).
How does anyone in a so-called position of authority/leadership (Principal, Dean, Administrator, etc…) hire an instructor to teach a class who cannot speak “English” and communicate it is beyond my comprehension? As a leader you own the system (student, parent, teacher, school, society…) by which all will be impacted because you believe someone with great credentials will bring merit and higher standards (aka – charge higher tuition) to you and your school/college. WRONG! It’s really this simple  - if you and the hiring team (At least I hope there is more than one person) cannot understand the person during the interview process how in the heck will your students understand?

Please remember - "It is not good enough to know your subject matter it is equally important to be able to communicate and have applied the subject matter for true transfer of knowledge to take place." qg

As the leader you have created a lose-lose situation for all involved in the process. You set the instructor/teacher up to fail all in effort for an end-result rating or worse yet you did not take the time up-front in the selection/hiring process to do what is right for the student (Your Customer).

I'm sure the instructor/teacher is a good person. All I'm saying is to put this person in research or another other position to best utilize his/her talents.


Anonymous said...

Life is not fair. Not everybody is intended to pass math class. Not everybody is good enough to pass a math class without having an instructor babysit them. Tell her to get over it. Welcome to the real world. Those who can learn on their own will succeed. If she isn't capable of that, I suggest she starts looking around for something she is capable of. Nobody--not God, not any civil right, not any natural human right--guaranteed her equality of talent or the right of success. Shame on nobody. Certainly not somebody who dedicates their life and time to TRYING to teach others.

Anonymous said...

Instead of shaming them, why don't you go and teach the class and do a better job? Or, right, you can't because you don't know the material. Why don't you find somebody who can? Not that easy. Is it?

All of our educators should be thanked. End of discussion.

huster55 said...

How dare you judge a professor before you walk a mile in their shoes. (Oh, right. You can't because you don't know this subject well enough to ever teach it, or, if you do, have chosen a different path for your life. Judge not, qualityg.)

qualityg said...

You are correct (all 12:37 - 12:43 pm) were written by same person.
I am not qualified to teach Math. However, I have taught business and quality process classes at the University level.
My point is if I were hired to teach "Organization Behavior and Change at a Russian University (I can not speak Russian) and failed the students because they could not answer my test questions then who is to blame. I say not the student or the teacher but the Leaders who own the system that created this no win scenario.
Yes, life is not fair but as long as every college/university expects a student to take math as a general requirement they owe it to the student (who pays for a service)to provide them with the best chance of learning.

huster55 said...

That should have been your original post right there.

Anonymous said...

(free of the silly "no one cares"/"shame on you"/etc. etc.) Life's not fair, and finding and providing the best chance of learning is a hard problem.

J. Formmon said...

My daughter failed her Freshman Math class at MSU last year and had to take an equivalent class at out local community college this past summer. Her instructor was from India who was very difficult to understand. MSU is a large school and there were over 50 students in the class that left little time for her to ask questions (you stated do not leave class until your question is answered). I have since found out a number of her classmates also failed the class. I was upset with her that she did not seek out the Grad Assistant for help after class but I can't help but wonder as the author states why would you put a person in this type of situation.