[Getting your students to like you] wouldn't have helped the first time around. My mindset is much more conducive to learning, retaining, and WANTING to learn this time around.
The first time through college, it is far more of, "I'm just continuing school to continue school because I've been schooling for as long as I can remember" with the way most schools are set up. So the desire to retain the information or learn it completely must come from really dedicated students, rather than just the students who want good grades/to pass and move on in their major.
At least that is how it seems/(seemed?) to me.
Nail. Head. This.
You aren't a liberal-arts professor on the side, or something, are you?
No, though I do have a liberal arts degree.
I'm back in school for technically a third time (got a BA, enrolled in a dumb Masters program, dropped that nonsense after <1 semester, and am enrolled now for BS in Mech. Eng.). It's far more important to me this time that I actually understand the information being taught because I'm not only
trying to get a grade. I'm trying to see if there is anything I learn that could be useful at my job - which is Mechanical Engineering for the most part. Or even if there is something else that calls my name more than what I am currently doing that I didn't realize the first time I started engineering.
I occasionally ponder "what-ifs" regarding different methods of education: apprenticeships, interning, technical schools, etc... I would say it is far more common for someone in their mid 20s to either a) know what they want to do with their lives, or b) not know but realize they have the ability to do a job which can pay for their hobbies, than for an 18 or 19 year-old who has just been pushed from school to school learning because they have been told they need to learn then go to college then get a job.
For the record, I mostly fall into b) of the previous two choices. I am good enough to do the job well but it's not a life calling or anything. I have a job that is fairly flexible about time and realizes that people have lives outside of work. Sure, the pay could be better, but I'm not ready to make that trade-off yet, it ever.
(Full disclosure: At one point I did consider teaching and also considered counseling (among many other choices)
- which would have been career counseling, not mental health)