Evaluations. I hate them. Especially when they come back from quality control and you get a sense of how much a class either liked you or loathed you. Most experienced lecturers will tell you to just ignore the nasty comments because those are usually written by the most difficult students, but if you’re having a marginally bad day, the remarks can make you near-suicidal. Luckily, I haven’t had anything too awful written about me yet; though once an evaluation had clear death-threat connotations attached to it, and another said that I shouldn’t get a salary because I suck. But while perusing the bitchiness and constant nit-picking about whether or not I’m old enough to lecture, or if I’m nice enough to talk to, I began thinking, why don’t we get to write evaluations on students. I know we mark their work, but that’s an assessment on how well they’ve applied themselves to a given task. What would happen if their final mark was assessed by their overall approachability, organisation and conduct during class.
Luckily, I have a blog, so here are a few things that I would like to comment on in my evaluation of individual students over the years:
For in-class behaviour
1. Student hasn’t brought any writing implements with them throughout semester. Concerned that they never learnt to write. Perhaps they should learn, come back next year, and try again.
2. Student on cellphone throughout class, with headphones in. I do like the sound of my own voice A LOT, but I can talk to myself at home… in bed… with coffee. So, if you don’t want to listen, please stay away.
3. Student conducts private lecture at the back of the class. I would really like a break so I suggest that you take the whole lecture (on a side note – wait until someone starts giggling for no reason and see how confident you feel).
1. Student cannot form a complete sentence. Please go away and don’t come back until you learn to write.
2. Student writes gibberish. When I ask what they meant, they look confused and reply ‘I don’t know’. Please go away and don’t come back until you realise that I don’t speak idiot.
3. Student wrote beautiful essay on the public sphere. Pity they were required to write on postmodernism. I assume their reading level is up to Twi-hard. Just walk away…
1. Student smells. Disturbing other students. I advise deodorant, or more preferably a bath.
…….. Wait, hang on…..
I’ve always threatened to put up a shame board of ridiculous student answers and antics. That could be a way of getting back at the mean ones (you think we don’t know your handwriting and those evaluations are all anonymous… Ah, bless).