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Review: I Wants to Go to Prose (suzanne B. Jordan)

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Essay title: Review: I Wants to Go to Prose (suzanne B. Jordan)

“Review: I wants to go to Prose (Suzanne B. Jordan)”

In “I wants to go to the prose” (1995), Suzanne B. Jordan emphasizes that a teacher’s duty is to help the students in their studies but whether teachers should help students with their personal problems is controversial. In other words, students should not come up to the teachers telling their personal problems so that the teacher, being merciful, excuses them or be a little more considerate when grading their papers. This is like using emotional intelligence ( emotional black mailing etc.) on teachers, which tends to descend them from their basic responsibility; which is to teach and to evaluate all students equally. In her article, Jordan gives a lot of support for this; specifically, a girl, Marylou Simmons, pops by Jordan’s office requesting her to give her a D or an incomplete on the course instead of failing her, for she was having troubles with her boyfriend. By means of bringing personal issue into the discussion, Marylou was trying to gain sympathy from the teacher. In this case, if the teacher helps her, it would be unfair to all the other students ethically. In essence, Jordan claims that students should not use their personal problems as an excuse for their poor performance, and in turn should not expect some sort of differential treatment from the teachers in the form of going easy with the grading and asking for mercy and forgiveness in some case.

In my opinion, Jordan has a valid point. A teacher’s primary duty is to help students in their academics, and not to listen to, or solve personal problems of students. So it is not advisable to approach the teacher and ask for clemency by presenting your case in an emotional manner. This is similar to asking a salesman to stop selling goods and give the goods for free because he is poor and has four or five kids to feed. A teacher is like a judge who has to give judgment against a suspect charged in a case to declare him or her guilty or innocent; that is, a teacher has to deal with all the students on the ground of equality. Therefore, in my view, teachers should assist the students in their academic problems but not be involved in their personal issues. In other words, teachers should evaluate students on the basis of hoe much quality work and effort they have put in, and not on the basis of what their personal problems are respectively.

There are people in the world who have different views considering this matter. Some of them think of teachers as problem solving ‘experts’. Yes! Teachers are problem solving experts but what kind of problems are they supposed to solve? Teachers can help students in solving problems in studies, but if they also have to deal with the personal problems of the students, they might have to step down from their duty in an attempt to help students. Another view is that teachers should be more considerate and understanding. In this case, the meaning of considerate and understanding is the main conflict. The people in favor of this argument think that possible aid them in solving personal problems and if possible aid them in solving these problems in addition to academic concerns. Some people regard teachers as stress relievers. Once again the approach is pessimistic by saying that teachers can relieve a student’s stress by helping them in studies as much as they can, however they are not obliged to relieve stress that they are not responsible for in the first place.

Students consider teachers as problem solving experts and stress relievers. They think that teachers are supposed to help them in each and every way. Students can walk into the teacher’s office anytime and share their problems, as to why they couldn’t they do the job well. Teachers are always willing to help the students and solve their problems so as to relieve them from work ridden stress. The teachers have the responsibility of teaching or imparting knowledge to students, moreover under any circumstances are not supposed to bring any private matters of students into consideration when evaluating students. Suzanne B. Jordan in the article, “I wants to go to the prose” writes, “Before …, a teacher was ideally, someone who knew a certain body of information and conveyed it. Period” (1995, pp.2). With the word “period” we can get the idea of what she’s trying to convey. Specifically, a teacher’s job is just to teach and nothing else. This is true. Solving students’ academic problems come in teaching but solving personal problems is way too far from the concept of teaching.

Some students want their teachers to be more flexible and understanding. The word ‘understanding’ warrants investigation. The students think of the word ‘understand’ in a different way, the pessimistic way. In their view, if students share their personal problems with the teacher, the teacher

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