I know I shouldn't take it personally but when they hand in research papers that we've been working on for six weeks, that I've taught them how to do correctly every step of the way, and the papers are utter, total garbage, but I do take it personally. Every. single. time. At first I think maybe I didn't teach them well enough. Maybe if I'd said it differently, or one more time...and then I think perhaps they just misunderstood....and then I realize that they just don't care. At all. One student, in his final paper, a formal research essay, wrote the sentence "That seems pretty damn good to me." Others use the letter u for the word you. So I sit and try to figure out why in god's name they think this is college level work?
And then I remember that they don't care, obviously, so I shouldn't either.
I have to remind myself that some, even many, of them do the research, and the writing, carefully and thoughtfully, and come up with things I've never considered and concepts they should be proud of. So why don't I focus on those? Why don't the ones that make my heart sing, that remind me of what it is I'm trying to do with my professional life, why can't I take those personally?
I have to work on not caring. That's hard for me.