As teachers, our interactions with students far exceed the snapshots captured at the end of the semester in formal course evaluations. Indeed, I read every evaluation and do my best to integrate the feedback left by the anonymized voices with whom I’ve shared a classroom. However, I can’t help but view these documents in part as instrumental demonstrations of my fitness as an instructor and university employee. The entirety of the rhetorical situation and ecology of the end-of-semester course eval tempers the pride I feel in reading positive comments and magnifies the potency of the criticisms students leave.
But I get it. I really get it.
Over the years, I have been most affected by the unsolicited comments students send me in emails or handwritten notes. I don’t think I’m much different from my colleagues in feeling the epideictic joy of these thoughtful expressions from the people whom we work and care for 16 weeks at a time.
So I propose collecting these artifacts from the wild as an exercise in pedagogical resilience. Who knows how and when they will sustain me down the road. I think you should do this, too.
Thank you for such a fantastic semester. I learned a lot and will definitely use the skills developed from our class in my future work.Oliver, WRT 307: Professional Writing, Fall 2019
I first wanted to thank you for meeting with me today for the Public argument essay. Your insight and guidance was very helpful to me when I wrote my essay a couple of hours ago.Jared, WRT 105: Academic Writing, Fall 2019
I really value everything you have taught me and I feel like you know what kind of student I am.Eva, WRT 105: Academic Writing, Fall 2019