Random Responses to Student Evals

I often find student course evaluations kind of frustrating, partly because there’s really no way to respond, even to the positive ones. So, out of that frustration, I offer the following responses to some of the comments from the three courses I taught last semester (you’ll have to infer the comments from the responses):

  • I’m glad you feel that your writing improved. I think everyone’s writing (almost) always improves in a comp course, but students don’t always recognize the fact.
  • Lots of other students say that they find the group work really useful, and I’ve got sound pedagogical reasons for doing them. I’ll try to explain this better next time, but I suspect that some of you just don’t like to play with others.
  • Me? Organized? I’m glad you thought so.
  • I would rather not have done the once-a-week, three-hour format for our literature class, either. I didn’t have any control over the time the course was offered.
  • It’s graduate school; it’s supposed to be challenging.
  • You’re right — I should put those due dates on the syllabus next time. Thanks for suggesting it.
  • Really? You think you got absolutely nothing from this class? I doubt it, but if that’s true, surely you bear some of the blame for that.
  • Yes, Middle English is sexy.
  • There is more to becoming a composition teacher than writing syllabi and lesson plans. An effective teacher knows how to engage with the research and scholarship of the field. We did the research paper to help you do that.
  • I’m flattered, really, but I’m taken.

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