Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Ongoing Saga of the Teaching Evals...

I have my comments.

For as long as I am a teacher I will remember the mistakes I made here, the first and foremost being:

Never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER call on a student to get their attention (or any student who does not have their hand raised.)

Apparently in the short list of "what students hate most," being called on suddenly when they'd rather be playing on their iPhone is the worst.  Ever.

This rule will serve me well.  Thankfully I have not done this in my 100 level class this semester.  (Although I did do it in a 200-level course.)

Other issues:

  • Accept the Iphone.  I kicked a student out when I told her three times to put away her Iphone and she simply ignored me.  And yeah, I wigged a little about it.  (Although not as badly as this guy.)
  • Never mention that they could fail.  Saying "I am not afraid to fail you if you don't put in effort" freaked them out.  Nobody says that anymore; it's apparently very 1962.  Many interpreted it as "half the class is failing."  No, just wanted to scare them into working a little harder.

This is okay.  The good - even possibly great - stuff:

  • They loved the online assignments.  Loved them.  Which is awesome because I worked my butt off on them.
  • They also loved going over worksheets in class.  The worksheets were studyguides that pushed the students to ask themselves what they had learned.  Apparently that's awesome.  Which is great because, like the online assignments, I am a buttless professor from it (as in "I worked it off.")

So... I learned something.  And the 100 level class I'm teaching this semester will help me gauge how important these factors are.


  1. accept the iPhone? Really? Seems rude. But then I'm old.

    1. Yeah... I have to. Students wrote that I didn't "have the authority" to kick out a student using an Iphone. And "we're in college, we should be allowed to use computers and text if we want to."

      I can't afford another bad eval. I now am taking it as a good sign that a student the other day was sprawled across her desk fast asleep while two more in the back were showing each other things on Facebook using Iphones. At least I'm not "intimidating" to them.

      They were really afraid of me. "Intimidating" was the #1 complaint. They were alert - very alert. What I didn't take into account is that prairie dogs are alert when the shadow of a hawk passes overhead.