Sometimes teaching is…

Sometimes teaching is tough. I say this at the end of a Monday night workshop that actually went pretty well, I think. But two different folks said (very slightly) negative things about aspects of my teaching today. And I asked, so it's entirely my fault. Still, it's getting to me. Maybe because I read my Northwestern course evaluations yesterday, and while for both classes I got tons of glowing reviews and really nice comments, for both classes there were a couple dissatisfied folks too. I don't know what to do with that -- if someone gives you all bottom marks and says only 'bad course' in explanation, what do you do? Dissolve into a little puddle of self-loathing?

No, I know better, I do. There were all those positive reviews, and in my conscious, rational mind, I know I did a good, possibly great, job last quarter. But the fact remains that I had a series of anxiety dreams about school last night. Sigh. You always know, as a teacher, that you could have done better. The job is infinitely expandable -- it'll take all the hours you can pour into it, and ask for more. So you always have to balance what is a reasonable amount to do a good job teaching your students what they need to know, against your need to maintain your own sanity, take care of your children, write your novel.

God, I am so tired. I want to be asleep, but it is just too hard to go upstairs. I'll sit her and watch Jon Stewart instead. Long day.

2 thoughts on “Sometimes teaching is…”

  1. As a former student who has filled out those course evaluation forms, let me explain those negative complaints with little or no explanation.

    Whenever I felt I had a ‘bad’ course, it usually meant that the subject itself was hard and no matter who would have taught it, I would have thought it was a bad course since it was hard!

    It’s good to be a teacher that makes you think, but some people don’t appreciate that and just want an easy course.

    Considering the fact that most of your students enjoyed your class, I’d say that should be your main focus.

    There are always students who are going to say that your course was bad, simply because it was hard for them.

    Hope that helps! (and I hope that makes sense since I’m quickly writing this while at work…lol)

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