Can't say I'm too surprised at my mediocre—possibly below-average*—evals from my Dongguk kids. I had braced for impact, and impact there was. While only a very small minority of the kids said they would not recommend my class to other students, I didn't exactly get a rousing endorsement from anybody, including from two of my favorite classes. This stands in sad contrast with how high-flying my evals were back when I worked at Sookmyung Women's University (around 96%), and with my currently sky-high evals from my KMA students (where I'd say my overall average is about 97%).
I still like my goofy Dongguk kids, and I recognize that a major factor in my eval scores is the kids' maturity level. I pushed them fairly hard, making them teach the classes, so of course they pushed back. I expect this is going to be the pattern from here on in, especially if I'm teaching class after class of the spoiled, lazy, and immature. That said, these kids were a pleasure to teach compared to the kids from my previous job (and those kids gave me higher eval scores!). The question, though, is whether my eval scores are low enough to get me canned. Dongguk's performance-evaluation standards didn't seem that high at first, but I'm still not sure I met them this semester. I might have to have a little conversation with the bosses before my current contract is up. In Korea, they never outright fire you: they simply refuse to renew your contract, which is a face-saving solution for both the employer and the employee: you can tell the world you quit, and no one will be the wiser.**
I did mention on this blog, though, that I would factor in how welcome I felt into my decisions about the future. Do I jump full-time into work at the Golden Goose, or do I continue at Dongguk and keep the Golden Goose as a once-a-week thing? I'm not sure. A so-so set of eval results doesn't exactly make me feel the most welcome, and I'm not about to compromise my standards and start coddling the kids just to get better eval results.
ADDENDUM: They say, for movie stars, that you're only as good as your most recent performance, so there's little use in my staring lovingly at my old Teacher of the Year award or lamenting my long-lost eval scores from years gone by. There's only my next set of KMA evals, and the student evals I'll be receiving in June or July.
*The evaluation results that were just published are the unadjusted numbers. In a week or so, a colleague tells me, the stats are going to be adjusted for various factors so that we teachers can be ranked. How average I am will depend on my ranking, I suppose. I doubt I'll blog whatever my ranking is, but I might mention whether I'm in the fat part of the bell curve, or in one of the thinner ends.
**During our orientation, however, one of our guides, who is also a course director, told us that people almost never get fired from Dongguk unless they've done something egregiously wrong. So we'll see.