I was talking with a fellow teacher from another college recently and I mentioned to him how much I enjoy reading my students' essays and finding out more about who they are, and where they come from. I told him that the stories they sometimes share with me through their writing are sometimes deeply personal, and that I felt privileged to read them.
"Really?" He looked surprised and uncomfortable. He preferred, he told me, to think of his students in as anonymous terms as possible so he could concentrate on objectively teaching them the material.
"Really?" I countered.