Some education professionals have noted that an increasing proportion of students these days are taking a more combative stance against classroom rules and grading policies, and are often even taking these complaints to their department chairs and college deans.
“I want to speak to your supervisors!!!”
The students described who miss tests and demand make-ups or late homework turnins are acting as if they are customers at a store and the teacher is just a service representative not living up to the customer’s expectation.
Is it the high and constantly growing tuition bill? Is it a frantic scramble on the student’s part for more money and time? Is it the influence of helicopter parents and the results of a generation growing up over-protected, perhaps even spoiled? Is it a rise in the number of students who find themselves overextended, realizing only too late that they had taken on more responsibility than they could handle? Of course, these students are the minority but the temptation to think this way is increasingly the norm in our consumer-centric culture.
But whatever the cause – whatever the excuse – this isn’t a good way for students to actually get an education in real-world expectations.
If a student treats college like a commodity and tuition as the only cost, they are inevitably going to fail at the task of getting an education – even if they receive the degree. Sure, maybe you can come up with some sad story today and weasel your way out of some bad grades, but how long will this strategy hold out?
A better way to view college is as work experience: Every great achievement or major mistake is going to affect your entire career’s development and potential. If you come into class late regularly, consider yourself lucky if you haven’t failed yet. At most jobs, you’ll be gone in the first week if you’re always 15 minutes behind the schedule. If you don’t follow directions on the first corporate report, you won’t be asked to present it to the executive board. If you haven’t done your assigned research before the meeting, there won’t be someone else to fill in the blank and keep the discussion progressing when it comes to your topic.
What you learn is the real value of college. The degree might get you into the door of your first good job, but if you didn’t learn anything from college then you might be walking right back out the door and into the unemployment line. If you think you know a better way, you’re free to start a business and prove it to the world.