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Category: adult education

Conversations: Overcoming Dispositional Barriers

When Students Say, “You don’t like me”

Last week, one of my students, when confronted with a bad grade, asked me why I don’t like him. In 8 years of teaching college writing, I have had several students ask some version of the question, “Why don't you like me?” They have asked with genuine confusion, hurt, and disappointment, either about a bad grade or my refusal to excuse a late paper. I have genuinely liked all of these students, and many ended up acing my class. But the question from last week and semesters previous has me wondering: what does my students’ perception of my liking or disliking them have to do with their grades, meeting expectations, my role as a teacher? I am trying to piece all these things together:  Often when my students get a good grade, they say joyfully, “Oh, I’m so glad you liked my paper.” Or, “I went to the writing center to clean it up so that you would like it”; “I like this paper and…

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