Student Evals

Administering student evaluations is very tricky and requires the kind of athletic prowess I don’t really possess. The professor’s body is supposed to be completely out of the classroom by the time students begin to write. So I leave the forms on the table and sprint towards the door. And of course, there are always people who want to ask me one last question, hand something in, or strike up a conversation.

So I yell, “Don’t write! Don’t write! Out of my way!” as I negotiate my way around desks and students, trying to leave the room.

You’ll laugh but a colleague got into serious trouble because a student wrote on the evaluations that the prof was still partially in the classrom when he or she started writing the evaluation. Then the colleague had to undergo a humiliating reenactment of the situation in the Provost’s office, showing which percentage of her body was still inside the classroom when students started writing.

I’m putting in for tenure and promotion this summer, so I can’t take any risks.


4 thoughts on “Student Evals

  1. At my university in India, another professor not involved with the course was required to give the student evaluation forms to the class. Required more coordination but at least such ridiculous situations didn’t arise.


  2. My institution isn’t so bizarrely stringent about profs leaving the room, but even so and for that reason I often do the evaluations first thing in that day’s class instead of last thing. Of course, that approach offers a whole different set of problems. One year during the interval that they were writing the evals, I took the opportunity to go to the restroom, using the one nearest the classroom that I don’t ordinarily go into. I went into a stall and was immediately confronted with a vulgar piece of graffiti, in black Sharpie, about me. And, for good measure, my husband. I was of course in a foul mood for the remainder of the class (though it could have been from someone in a different class or a previous semester) and had a tough time resisting the temptation to post the semester grades in the same bathroom stall.


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