This fall I taught three classes with a total of sixty students. Only a third made the time to formally evaluate me. Fortunately, the feedback I received from 17 of the 20 was either moderately or extremely positive. However, in each class, there was one person who took the time to express moderate to extreme displeasure. In one instance, a student was convinced I was way too hard of a grader. I was surprised by how unhappy the other two were since they masked it well. I wish I had understood their unhappiness during the semester.
I do my best to take my students’ thinking seriously. One of the dissenters dropped this bomb in the comments, “The instructor is ineffective at teaching this subject and should consider pursuing a different career.”
My initial reaction was to be defensive and say to myself, “What are they talking about? They should see their peers’ feedback.” But that’s not respecting the student’s point of view, which is the foundation of my teaching philosophy.
So, upon further thought, I am considering the following:
• Professional golfer
• Subsistence farmer
• Constitutional lawyer
• Cult leader
• Ski lift operator
• TNT NBA studio host/analyst. . . when EJ retires
Additional suggestions welcome.