As I reflect on my freshman year of college, I recognize how different it has been from high school. My high school education experience was fulfilling, but I never felt as though as I could successfully confide in my teachers. Many of my teachers were overly dominant, which led to power struggles in our partnership’s. I rarely could communicate with them on an equal level, and at times they were unwilling to help students find success.
In many ways, my experience with teachers in high school reminded me of the relationship between Gan and T’Gatoi. My teachers sometimes ignored my viewpoint because they believed theirs was better. In Octavia Butler’s Bloodchild, Gan states that “it was a little frightening to know that only she stood between us and that desperation that could so easily swallow us.” I related to this statement because I often felt like I was under the power of my teachers. They had the ability to do what they wanted in the classroom without hearing the viewpoint of their students, and that was discouraging. I believed that this was how the partnership between teachers and students would remain as I furthered my education. I thought that professors would teach their class without listening to the thoughts of students. Thankfully, I was proven wrong.
As I began my freshman year of college, I immediately noticed how willing professors are to work with students. Their goal is clearly to help students understand the material at hand so they can do well. Through office hours, email, and communication during class, I finally experienced the equal partnership with professors that many students express. The Geneseo Mission Statement states that “the entire College community works together to advance knowledge and inspire students to be socially responsible and globally aware citizens who are prepared for an enriched life and success in the world.” I believe that the college professors who I have dealt with truly recognize this statement and work to achieve it. Experiencing a balanced partnership with my professors has changed how I view my education. By equally working with them, I have discovered more opportunities for my academic career to flourish.
As Gan has to remind T’Gatoi, “there is risk… in dealing with a partner.” In order to create successful partnerships with their students, high school teachers must recognize this. One of the few ways that students can succeed is if they can confide in their teachers for advice. If they cannot, it may be difficult for them to come across academic success.
The partnership between students and professors in college may present risks such as communication errors and possible power struggles. However, when the partners avoid these risks, students can obtain rewards that are priceless.