I’m sure that anyone who’s ever done any kind of public speaking or teaching already knows this, but different groups of people exude different levels and types of energy. When I started this semester I naively thought that a class was a class was a class. That ain’t the case. All classes posses a unique personality and not all classes are created equal.
The classes that are actively involved in participating in the lessons of the day energize me. By the end of one of those classes I’ve got such a reserve of energy I feel like jogging. It’s almost like I feed off of their excitement and intellectual curiosity. Their involvement in the class demands a highly reciprocal instructor/student relationship, and I feel as if both the students and I learn a great deal from this relationship.
On the other hand, some classes are damn near parasitical. Their lack of involvement and general level of apathy completely drains me of energy. I have one class like this, and those little leaches damn near drain me dry in a measly fifty minute class. No matter what approach I take with them I just can’t seem draw their interest. As they stare up at me with condescension-filled eyes, I can practically hear them counting the seconds until I dismiss them.
Sometimes I wonder what would happen if a few of the most dismissive students from my parasitical class were to drop. Would the absence of their toxic personalities be enough to change the dynamic of the class as a whole? I’d wager a pretty hefty bet that it would. Unfortunately for me, I don’t have the luxury of kicking people out of my class for aloofness.
Would that I could my friends…would that I could.
Just a post script to this, but I’m curious to know if anyone else has experienced a noticable variance when dealing with similar sets of crowds or groups of people?