There is always this one class that has an attitude. Every single semester, with no exceptions. The faces change, but the attitude stays the same.
Last semester, this was one of my Monday classes. They were a pretty high level but it seemed that our classes were some kind of a burden for them. I tried to supplement with more interesting and challenging tasks, but no matter what I did they seemed to stay indifferent. When I would offer them to choose what they wanted to do for the next task, they always said that it did not matter to them and they would be okay with anything. They were interested in communicating with each other though, so no problem here.
After some time, I simply gave up on involving them into making decisions about the learning process and left it up to myself.
We had a couple of nice classes (in my opinion), but the majority was so-so. I still would plan good-quality lessons but I stopped being emotionally invested into these students. I would just come, teach and leave. We had a silent agreement: they could keep their attitude but in return, they would not cross the line and do anything to make my job more difficult.
A month ago or so I got the comments from the students I taught last semester. All of them were nice and positive, however, there was a bunch of comments left by the students from the same class that stood out: incredibly heartwarming words that deeply touched me. I could not see the names, only the class code. I usually do not check which class the comments come from, but this time I decided to check.
All of these comments were left by that Monday class.
It made me think how often we have such kind of misunderstanding. It is a well-known fact that there are as many points of view as people.
What I saw was a class with the attitude, a class that did not express their feelings the way I wanted.
What did they see? Apparently, a totally different thing.
They enjoyed our lessons. They said I was a great teacher. They regretted they could not stay in the same class with me for one more semester.
This kind of feedback from them was totally unexpected.
I should definitely try being more attentive and sensitive, and not that quick to judge.