I don’t follow anyone’s rules except my own rules… RULE THREE

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The real story behind the death of Socrates.

See this post for the intro to this series of posts about rules.

RULE THREE: General duties of a teacher — pull everything out of your students.

Whilst I have taught in UK Higher Education (HE), and still do on occasion, these days I prefer to keep my teaching to informal relationships and internet broadcasting.

There is something rotten in the state of university education in Britain, and that is the change from people being considered students to being considered “customers”. Because most students now pay their own fees (eventually), universities are unwilling to fail them or even mark them harshly. This has lead to students calling the shots and makes pulling everything out of them impossible when there is no discipline (see later rules).

I was berated by my course leader on one occasion for telling him that, in a dispute over a mark I had given, I had told a student that he was welcome to go and talk to the vice-chancellor if he wanted to have his marks revised upwards. Whilst I agree with rule three, on this occasion I failed to pull everything out of this student but he managed to pull what he wanted out of another teacher.

I didn’t fall out with anyone, but after this experience I allowed myself to drift out of teaching although I am happy to share my experience and knowledge as long as any student will follow rule two. I have a more robust phrase for this, not usually acceptable in varsity but forged in my time out in a less forgiving world, and I have only had to say it out loud on one occasion, to a work colleague who I eventually had to have disciplined.