You can't peg a non-traditional student
Each non-traditional student is different. I think we all agree on that.
But some younger students can disagree.
The perception I get from some younger students is that we (older people - older students) are all alike!
Here are some things that I think younger students can believe about non-traditional students:
1. We are set in our ways (definitely NOT true)
2. We don't have a sense of humor (ditto)
3. We don't want to make friends in class (the opposite is true)
4. We don't understand them (well... this can be true sometimes...)
5. We love being a teacher's pet. (simply nonsense. Of course, we do listen to the teacher most times, which can be confusing to some other students.)
I think if younger students got to know us, they would know that we are just like them - different in every way from a stereotypical older student.
Every non-traditional student is an individual, and prides him or herself on being such, just like younger students do.
I made some very good younger friends while I was back in school. They taught me that I can't put younger students in any box either. Younger students are also individuals, and proud of it.
I think it will be awhile before attitudes (like #1-5, above) change. It will take lots and lots of new non-traditional students joining younger ones in class.
The younger students will be able to observe the older ones close up, and they will realize very soon that there is not that much difference between them and us.
I think we can learn a lot from each other, and that we bring a lot to each class we are in.
What do you all think? Do you agree with me?