Thursday, March 28, 2013

Opening up a can of John Douglas on the situation...

So I got knocked because of my terrible - truly terrible - evals.

I was crying.  I couldn't I believe that my students really felt I was a terrible teacher.

And then it struck me - I go no, not one 4 or a 5 on "personal interaction"?

Not one from the student I met with every week who called me her "best instructor ever"?

Not from the student I walked through every worksheet problem?

Not from any of the students who showed up to get their projects checked who I commended on their hard work and encouraged their confidence?

Not one - not a single one - from any of the students that I helped in lab hands on?  That I smiled and held their spectrophotometers while they slid in the little piece of plastic?  Not any that where we laughed when the magnet experiment went down?

And not one from a student I will call "S", who told me all her hopes and dreams, who called me her inspiration?  I know she was there; I handed her my evals.

Not one?

There was another instructor from physics who never once met with a student.  He never responded to a single email.  He said I was a "godsend" for this course.  He couldn't teach it alone; he was spending half his time in Switzerland on research.

This... sounds really fishy to me.


  1. well, that DOES sound weird. Did some TA switch the evals with another class?

    1. I don't know yet. I contacted the guy I taught the class with - who, by the way, gave me an amazing recommendation and said things like "Dr. Honeycutt was brimming with good ideas and suggestions and it was soon clear that she combines an amazing breadth of scientific knowledge and expertise together with a deep understanding of how to reach, motivate, engage, and teach today’s students."

      The way we do it is that they're submitted in a closed envelope by someone other than the instructor. So I never saw mine.

      But one of my colleagues said "With evals that low, you might consider doing something like office hours at the very least."

      That's one thing that tipped me off. Another is actually READING what my students sent me.

      So it might be very easy to fix, i.e. he notices he's got 4/5 and he KNOWS he didn't get that if I got a 2/5 - they're just switched.

      I also contacted the Classroom Climate office to be sure that they ran two separate sets of evals. They haven't gotten back to me yet.

      I have such low self-esteem that I didn't think to question it. "Mo," I thought, "I spent all those hours private tutoring all those students and they still don't like me..."

      No, that doesn't sound right to me. Especially because all the emails say otherwise.

  2. BTW, I had no idea who John Edward Douglas was, until today. I'm learning from you all the time!

    1. I called. Maybe they did give me a 2.

      I have no idea. I stayed late, worked with students every week, allowed them to turn in their projects early to be checked (easy A I pointed out)...

      I met with one student in the classroom 1/2 before class started... for an 8 am class.

      Maybe it's like Facebook. Maybe whatever people are looking for? I ain't it.