My last post was, to be fair, a barbaric yawp of despair. But now, classes have ended, final exams have been given, and my students have completed the unofficial course evals I use to supplement the uni’s “official” (read: Likert scale) ones.
And so, in the spirit of the support and kind words my last post generated (thank you, readers! they were much appreciated), this post is an act of self-kindness: a reminder that whatever my state of existential, academic-related despair, I am a damn good teacher.
(Perhaps at some point I’ll publicly parse the constructive criticism that my students provided. But, for now, I’m sticking to the sunny side of the street.)
The comments below tell me that many of my students get something out of being in my classroom and some even enjoy being there. Indeed, I’ve been teaching for six years now, and never before has the word “fun” appeared so many times in a set of evals. Given how little fun I was having this semester writ large, I am pretty damn pleased to see that.
FWIW, these are responses submitted by students in both of my classes in response to this, the last question on the unofficial eval:
10. What else would you like to tell me about your experience in this course?
Class 1: “Writing From Research”:
- This was the only class I looked forward to. It was fun and useful to me as a writer.
- I enjoyed this class, did not think I would ever enjoy an English class.
- You should never quit drinking coffee! The course was pretty well planned out and there wasn’t any busy work, everything we did had a purpose and I liked that.
- I enjoyed my time in here. Sorry for never visiting during office hours.
- Thanks for making English fun.
- Was a lot better in pace and criteria than most of my previous english classes. Felt like I could write what I wanted, not what someone wanted to hear.
- I liked how we had a longer time than usual to work on major assignments in this class.
- Thank you for the donuts and overall I loved your class because you showed that you really care about us and our work!
- I dreaded taking another English course, however I gained a lot from it and it was nice break from a hectic schedule.
- I learned ALOT. I was very encouraged!
- I genuinely feel that I learned a lot in this course even though it may not show yet. I feel I just need to practice more to fully utilize what I learned in this class. I really enjoyed discussing the modern/controversial topics that got the entire class engaged.
- This has been my favorite class here at Tech and possibly overall. It has caused me to seriously consider switching my major.
- I enjoyed it. #woohoo
- I had a good time discussing the readings we did in this class.
Class 2: “Introduction to College Composition”:
- Your teaching really helped me grow in my writing & understanding of course material!
- This is an awesome course, take her for English class!!
- Loved the course and felt like I lucked out. Had such a great time in here with my peers.
- I really like the amount of discussion and how our opinions were valued.
- I liked it. I liked that you used different resources, like videos, because it made the class more interesting.
- One of my favorite english classes–always interesting & engaging work.
- I loved this class!! Not usually a big fan of writing, but the type of writing we did in here was fun and challenging at the same time.
- I had a fun time in class and found it very interesting.
- I don’t know if it was just the great classmates I had, you, my passion for writing, or everything put together, but I’m glad that my first ENGL class at Tech was with you. I wasn’t expecting to look forward to the last class of my day, but somehow it came to be. : )
- I had a lot of fun in this class.
- Overall, it was pretty good, nothing was unfair or extremely difficult.
- I really enjoyed this class and am excited for next semester! (Yes, I have you!) It was a friendly learning experience.