It’s that time of year when college students get a chance to rate their professors. As an adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the late 1980s and early 1990s, I was always amused by students’ assessments of my classroom performance. For example, the brown-nosers always seemed to be the most critical of my teaching, while the students who seemed bored to death in class were the most appreciative. (I was able to identify most of the students through their handwriting. I suspect pens are no longer used in classrooms.) Fashion-related comments always made me laugh, too. (I was marked down.)
On Facebook, I asked journalism profs to share what students wrote about them in year-end evaluations. Some of the responses:
Dawn Fallik, University of Delaware
This was my favorite so far. “I would say to future students that Professor Fallik is a straight shooter, but she is incredibly fun and a great professor to take. If you want a professor who blows smoke up your butt and makes your mistakes sound not that bad, take another professor; If you want to learn how to write a good news article while still having a good time, take Prof. Fallik. Also, don’t say “Who’s Bruce Springsteen?'; You might just kill her, and that would be horrible!”
Erica Palan, adjunct, Temple University
”Sometimes, it felt like she was judging my writing.”
Daniel Shumski, adjunct, Medill
“Dan is the kind of teacher you eventually end up really appreciating.”
Dan Kennedy, assistant professor, Northeastern University
“The only thing I learned is that he is anal about spelling names and will drop your grade unnecessarily for one misspelling.”
The only one I can remember is the young lady who said I had a “potty mouth in class.” What a load of shit.
Rebecca Green, adjunct, Huntington University
I got one a couple of years ago from my neediest student, who demanded (and received) the most of my time saying I was inaccessible. Sigh. Since I’m an adjunct instructor working full-time as a daily news reporter, I was particularly aggravated by her response, since I gave her A LOT of my time.
I once gave a quiz after giving the students the answers first. When many still got some answers wrong, I repeated the process, and one still got one wrong. That person complained when he got an F that he should have received partial credit for those he got correct and asked for a B. He complained to my boss when I denied his request.
After my first semester as a T.A. I was able to bond with my former professor. She wrote down her first evaluation comment for me: “She’s nice but she wheres old close.”
Never read them. They were not shy about saying what they had to my face. I was in over my head and they knew it.
Any other journalism instructors care to tell us what students think of their teaching? Let’s hear from students, too!