Tuesday, January 13, 2009

You never can tell

My class last semester was my most difficult one ever. I had a hard time connecting with the students. Many of them never talked. Part of the problem was a new text book that I wasn't particularly comfortable with pedagogically, and my struggle to use that text upset the flow of the classroom throughout the semester.

I got my student evaluations today. I had been dreading these, because of how bad I had felt the semester had gone. I was floored when I read them, however. They were great. The students were remarkably perceptive about the problems with the text book, and were able to separate the problems with the text from the rest of the classroom experience. They had valid criticisms about that classroom experience that I can take an incorporate this semester. One student asked for more break out groups early on in the semester so she (why am I assuming this is a female?) could get to know other students and would feel more comfortable speaking out in the class as a whole during the semester. That's a great suggestion, and one I can incorporate now.

But they loved me. I couldn't have told that from the way they acted in class, but almost all of them thought I was great. The icing on the cake was this comment: "Without doubt one of the greatest teachers and influences of my life."

Wow. It doesn't get much better than that.

And yes, I know, teaching isn't supposed to be about ego, but anyone who has ever done it can tell you it's a performance, and who doesn't like a standing ovation at the end?


Jon92027 said...

Please cue Sally Field, "you like me, you really like me "

I know it isnt from Stell Magnolias, but I was as close as I could be

ShalottLady said...

Of course they loved you. I'm not at all surprised--I'm certain you're an awesome teacher!

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