I know I do this every semester but I’ll keep doing it because it brings me joy. I just got back my student evaluations for last semester, and every single one of them is glowing. I had 72 students last semester in two very difficult courses (the third is independent research and we don’t get evaluated on it for some mysterious reason). One is hybrid format, meaning many of the lectures are online, and everybody hates that. Plus, it had a huge writing component that everybody failed all the time at first. Another one is very content-heavy, a ton of readings, a ton of information. In the hybrid course, the students are not our majors or minors. These are students from all kinds of disciplines with no previous knowledge of Hispanic Studies and no particular interest. It’s just a requirement for them.
And every single evaluation, without even one exception, is spectacular. Mind you, I’m a bitch of a grader. There were people writing those evaluations who were failing the course. You’d expect one or two people at least to be less than ecstatic. But no. They were all super happy with the course and loved me. It does feel good.
This is why I can’t get on board with this “truth universally acknowledged” that female professors are punished in evaluations because students perceive them as less intelligent or worthy of respect as men. Or that immigrant professors are punished because they have accents (the hybrid course was in English).
And I’ll keep writing this repetitive post until I figure it out. The last conversation I had about the gender unfairness of evaluations was yesterday. This is talked about all the time. And I’m not seeing it.
I wonder if people sometimes wonder, deep inside, maybe, if it’s not the gender or the accent or having high standards but something different. Most of us get zero training in actual teaching, after all. Just saying.