Today I received my packet of student evals from last semester (all three courses) from the department assistant. I took them into my office, expecting the worst. What I saw was just about ideal, and certainly far better than I’d expected.
It was funny how some students said they wanted more lectures and less group work, yet others wanted less lecture and more group work. Can’t please everyone, I suppose. The fact that these comments are just about perfectly balanced suggests that I’m doing things right in that department. Lots of people commented on my kindness, approachability, and willingness to meet with students outside of class. Glad they noticed.
One very conspicuous outlier was some disgruntled student in my afternoon class who rated every aspect of the class (and me) at a 1 out of 5. At least she was consistent. In the open-ended comments section, she wrote that I was the worst professor she’d ever had. If there had been even one more person who’d made similar comments, I would be very worried about what I might have done wrong. This one person might have just been having a bad day or feared for her grade, and decided to unload on me. Whatever. I had a number of students in all of my classes who said I was the best professor they’d ever had and that I’d either inspired them to switch into my discipline or remain in the discipline. Not too shabby, eh? 🙂
These evals will serve me well in the job search, although I’m very much hoping that I have no more than a couple of weeks left in that process. T-6 days until I leave for my on-campus interview. Fingers crossed, por favor!