Tuesday, May 31, 2005


I got my student evaluations today and I must say that I am disappointed. They were all over the place, but its the bad ones that really feel like a punch in the gut.

There are some things I need to keep in mind:
  • Students are fickle. They like to complain. At a place like this they feel entitled not only to learn, but to be entertained.
  • Introductory courses are terribly difficult to teach, both in organization and content.
  • There were good evaluations and those were probably the ones from the good students.
  • It was hard to teach this class being gone so much, including when I had to spend time in Boston when Sara had her kidney stones.
It's still hard. I put so much energy into the course that it makes it difficult to hear people claim it was disorganized, boring, and superficial. While it is also easy to dismiss the comments as those of snotty students, I know that these evaluations will play a role in my future as I try to find a new job. This is another problem in academia, so much of effective teaching is assessed through these stupid evaluation that students fill out when they are tired, pissed off, or wanting to run outside and play.

Enough self-pity and back to packing.

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