2004-10-27 - 9:51 a.m.
how do you do it right?
My student came by to talk to me more today and she looks emotionally better than she sounded on the weekend. She was a lawyer in her previous life when the cancer struck the first time, and she was unable to keep up her insane hours --> thus her decision to become an earth science teacher. Her problem now is the same as many Americans: no health care. Her family consists of a supportive boyfriend. And, as I suspected, she wants to stick to her normal schedule as much as possible. Understandable. But more than anything I let her know that we could be flexible.
Of course, at the same time that this was happening, I was processing my teaching evaluations from last semester. Ouch. Many evaluations were very good - in fact, the undergraduates were uniformly positive. Some of the graduate-level high school teachers were harsh. Some provided concrete usable suggestions about how to improve. Some were just unpleasant.
An example: "What did you enjoy most about this course?"
What a wit. Yes, it's funny, but how does this help improve for the next bunch?
Not everyone will like you. But I was amazed to read in three cases that I didn't "respect" the students, or that I was not available to answer questions. Given that there were no concrete examples of my disrespect, I don't quite know how to modify my style. Given that I answered all emails, offered review sessions (which other profs in my department do NOT do), and met with students on weekends, I am not sure how I could have been more available. It is difficult to invest so much in helping students, and then be accused of NOT doing it.
I am sure that I will put this all into perspective in a few days.
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...they are just words, Suzi... - 2011-08-29