Of Pearls and Pork

Student evaluations can be harrowing and baffling for those of us who are new faculty. I strive for excellence, but if my students’ feedback is any indication, I am not as excellent as I strive to be, though there are times, apparently, when I am doing better than I think I am.

Section A of one course gave me high marks. Section B of the same course gave me middling marks. I presented the same material in roughly the same way. I enjoyed my time with both sections equally well. It is a difficult lesson to learn that liking and being liked are only tangentially related to excellence in the classroom; for I, in the eyes of some, am mediocre at helping them learn, however well-intentioned and enthusiastic I may be.

I do take some consolation from two things. My students from a different course, with whom I struggled all semester and left not knowing if I had reached anyone, seemed to think I did above average. (Metrics from other sections taught by other instructors indicate as much.) Most importantly, the consensus among my students seems to be that all philosophers since Socrates have been more annoying than useful. However lesser an intellectual, I am in good company.

2 Responses to “Of Pearls and Pork”

  1. Patricia on

    Jan22 Way to go putting 401 to good use, Holly. One coenrcn I bet a lot of professors would have, though, would be with removing the percentage off per day. Just to play the other side of the board, arguably university ends up not just assessing learning but providing feedback on one’s professionalism as a student gears themselves up into the professional world where timeliness is key what would you propose as an alternative so we lazy students still hand in our work on time so we don’t bog professors down is it a matter of recultivating respect? How would we get there?

    • georgefaithful on

      Could you rephrase the questions? I’m not sure what, exactly, you’re getting at. Also, who is Holly?


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