I remember a brilliant old RYS posting about student evaluations, and my note today is an excuse to link to it AND to say, my students don't know enough about what I'm doing to evaluate me.
I'm sorry if that's not academically, politically, or pedagogically correct, but I'm baffled by how much credence administrators, chairs, parents, and some proffies give to feedback from undergrads.
My history in this business has proven to me that students evaluate two things only: 1) if we act like we like them, and 2) if the class is easy or hard (to them).
I have stacks of old evals and the two most common comments are: "Hiram is mean," and "Hiram is (too) hard."
That's it? That's all you've got?
Well, bite me.
Because nothing in either of those sentences worries me, helps me, fazes me, etc.
I work my ass off to make the class challenging and useful, maybe not today, but for the rest of their lives. When they face disputes and problems in the future, I want them to be ready and able to handle them.
I don't want my class to be easy, and I don't want to be their first 50 year old "friend" who isn't also called "Uncle."