In the world of independent schools, most places have an evaluation process in place in which students mark evaluation forms of their instructors. For the most part, I have enjoyed the feedback from students on my teaching and the general nature of my courses. Before students evaluate me, I always ask them to write a comment or two offering constructive criticism. What can I improve on in my teaching. I have found the best mode of evaluation to come in a more informal manner: having lunch or dinner with students during or after the academic year so that I might ask them questions about my course(s). I am known to walk in the classroom and ask: “how are we feeling about the material and the direction of the course?” Students are good at being open; some will even offer instructional advice on something that might help them understand the material; I have found that students themselves are the best teachers. They can explain topics in a way that all students “fully” understand. Thus this is the reason I utilize the seminar method of instruction.
Not all students are fair in their evaluations, though. When I was in college, I recall some students saying that they were going to give so and so a bad evaluation because he/she was too hard or “unfair.” This does not help anyone. I do not know the extent to which HCHS students do this; I hope they do not. I have not had to deal with this issue so far. I wish we had a system of student evaluation at my former school (CAC), though my first year evaluations would have been brutal. I will admit that my courses were far more difficult at CAC than they are now. Much of this has to do with a change in my teaching philosophy.
I am not a fan of Rate My Teacher/Professor. I am not sure what purpose it serves. Moreover, it is clearly not a valid system of evaluation seeing that I have read ratings of teachers I deem to be outstanding. I have received pretty good marks on this site. If you have never been to it, here is how it works: a person gives a rating on a scale of 1 to 5. A person can also leave a comment that is approved or disapproved via moderator.
Below showcases my easiness, helpfulness, and clarity. A 1 means hard and a 5 is easy.
- 2 E
- 5 H
- 4 C
- good teacher
Here are some thoughts from my CAC days. I have not taught here since May of 2004.