Not REALLY Grammar Wednesday…

… but I couldn’t not post this.

I discovered yesterday that, since TCC does all its student surveys online, I can access the results of the surveys given for my classes through the faculty portal. I am pretty excited about this because, as many of you have noticed, I’m all about the feedback.

My face-to-face class gave me really high marks. The biggest complaints were that I didn’t use the textbook enough to justify what they spent on it and that they didn’t always see the necessity in the assignments I gave them, but nearly all of them (who participated in the survey) checked “strongly agree” under the questions about my availability to them, my enthusiasm for the course and the material, the instructional methods I used, and the feedback I gave them. Not bad; not bad at all.

My hybrid kids, who were a generally surly bunch to begin with, didn’t mark me very favorably, though many of them admitted that it was more the format of the class than it was my abilities as an instructor that darkened their opinion of how the class went. The better proportion of those who took the survey said that they would NOT recommend hybrid classes to their classmates, nor would they take another hybrid class, based on their experience with this one. None of this surprises me, and I’m not taking any of it personally.

At the end of the surveys, students are given an opportunity to express whatever thoughts they may have about me as an instructor that aren’t necessarily addressed in the survey questions. One of the responses was this and, if I think about it even a little, it gives me pause.:

hobbes_yikes1.gifmrs. chilli is one of the many reasons i don’t want this semester to end. she knew so much about english and helped all of us so much. she’s a wonderful woman and i wish i could take more classes with her. I really liked this teacher’s Method of teaching. She cared about teaching every individual in the class. I noticed her effort in working on the material that troubled us most. She was firm in her expectations, but explained the exersizes in a clair, understanable way. I exspect this from a college level instructor. Thank you.

Honestly? I don’t know whether to be touched or embarrassed because, while I may have endeared myself to this student, it’s quite obvious that a lot of what I tried to teach last term didn’t find a foothold with him/her.

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9 Comments

Filed under about writing, concerns, Teaching

9 responses to “Not REALLY Grammar Wednesday…

  1. Aww, that was a horrible letter. They seem to have meant well.

  2. Yes, but MEANING well and WRITING well are two entirely different things. I’m there to teach them to write well; the fact that this glowing letter came in the way that it did does not speak well of my teaching abilities, now, does it? The irony of the letter is not lost on me….

  3. nhfalcon

    Let’s hope those were typos resulting from typing skills and not from spelling / grammar skills… ?

    (tryin’ to help, here…)

  4. Actually, my thoughts were the same as the pp. Perhaps this person is a sucky typist and just couldn’t be arsed to proof read?

    One can only hope. I did like the sentiment, though!

  5. I teach writing methods to pre-service teachers of English. What a daunting task that is. I think there are two points here that beg to be made. First, if you think of teaching and learning as a garden then you must accept the fact that they (your students) won’t all bloom on your watch. Secondly, until students believe they have something really important to say in writing they won’t have any authentic reason to say what they have to say well. Perhaps your student is transitioning from no voice to the acquisition of an authentic voice? I like to think of the positive.

  6. If this person wasn’t really this bad of a speller/grammarer, then they would have been bothered by the utter lack of aptitude displayed here. Unless, of course, they typed with their head face down into the keyboard, never once looking up. Unfortunately, I’ve seen this done. It is possible.

    But not likely.

  7. And one more thing: Chili, don’t hold yourself responsible or anything. I don’t think there is a teacher alive who can undo a long life of bad learning and improper instruction in the course of a college semester. You did your best, I trust, but the odds were against you.

  8. yeah, I’m stalking you … ;)

    I just had to insert an OT comment and say that I read TCC as TTC (trying to conceive) and I was thinking; “erm … what?” LOL, you can tell what’s been occupying my wee mind for the last *ahem* few years.

    To comment on what eatsbugs said: I always wonder what Kindergarten/1st grade teachers do when faced with kids who say: :”I ain’t got it.” and “I done that.”

    Can you imagine?

    What a child learns at home, from birth, about his own language, is enormous. I just wished more mothers understood how much they are influencing their child’s entire life!

  9. Blue, keep stalking. I love it.

    I don’t think that kindergarten and first grade teachers despair as much as high school and college teachers do about things like that. Little people are much more easily influenced, and it’s possible to gently break small ones of bad habits learned, and practiced, in the home. *I* grew up in a less-than-literate home (my father received a passing grade in his senior English class as a wedding gift – I shit you not), but spending time in an academic environment reprogramed me.

    I’m not saying that your point isn’t COMPLETELY valid, though, Blue; having reinforcement of academic lessons at home is VITAL to a child’s success in school (my caveat is that, while my grammar and diction may have improved as a result of having spent time in school, I didn’t really succeed until I was OUT of the home environment). What I’m saying is that we have a better chance of helping kids if we can hook ‘em young, but all is not necessarily lost if we don’t reach them until college; I’m the poster child for a last-minute rescue…

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