Friday, July 18, 2014


As a teacher at Sookmyung Women's University, I used to brag on this blog about my high evaluations at the end of every semester. It was a bit rocky that very first semester in 2005, but I still managed a 90 average. It was rocky again in late 2006 or so, when our center director decided to go crazy with her twisted notion of content-based instruction; the students absolutely hated the courses we taught that semester, and they vented their frustration by giving us all fairly low (85-ish) ratings. But for the most part, my evals ranged from 95% to 99%—near-total satisfaction with my teaching. I loved my kids; my kids loved me, and I was the highest-rated foreign teacher in our department.*

Not so here at DCU. The teaching of required courses to largely unmotivated students has been a year-long uphill battle, and while I'm in no mood to divulge my actual eval scores, I can say with confidence that, in my time at DCU, my scores have been significantly lower than those from my storied past. I'm not the legend here that I was there.

What's interesting, though, is that the database in which my evals are recorded also has an extensive sampling of student comments, and except for the one class I hated (my Thursday 3PM class full of lazy kids; the feeling was mutual), almost all the comments I received were either praise or high praise. So at some point, I'm going to put those comments up on the blog, both good and bad, with my responses interpolated among them. Stand by for that.**

*There was a teacher who had consistently higher ratings: a plump, happy Korean woman who taught Chinese. But she taught Chinese by speaking mostly in Korean, which I think is why her students connected so well with her. Had she pushed her students to think and speak in Chinese, I doubt the warm-fuzzies would have been at quite that level.

**I got back to Hayang around 7:15PM this evening, and after resting at home for a bit, I headed over to the faculty office to check on my evals, which hadn't been available on Monday or on Tuesday—the days I had been told the evals would be available.


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