What is it really like to be a college professor in an American
classroom today? An award-winning teacher with over twenty years of
experience answers this question by offering an enlightening and
entertaining behind-the-scenes view of a typical semester in his
American history course. The unique result-part diary, part
sustained reflection-recreates both the unstudied realities and
intensely satisfying challenges that teachers encounter in
university lecture halls.
From the initial selection of reading materials through the
assignment of final grades to each student, Patrick Allitt reports
with keen insight and humor on the rewards and frustrations of
teaching students who often are unable to draw a distinction
between the words "novel" and "book." Readers get to know members
of the class, many of whom thrive while others struggle with
assignments, plead for better grades, and weep over failures.
Although Allitt finds much to admire in today's students, he
laments their frequent lack of preparedness-students who arrive in
his classroom without basic writing skills, unpracticed with
With sharp wit, a critical eye, and steady sympathy for both
educators and students, I'm the Teacher, You're the
Student examines issues both large and small, from the ethics
of student-teacher relationships to how best to evaluate class
participation and grade writing assignments. It offers invaluable
guidance to those concerned with the state of higher education
today, to young faculty facing the classroom for the first time,
and to parents whose children are heading off to college.
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