But today. Oh, Lord, today. I pick up my student evals in a big white envelope from our assistant and I open them in my car before heading home. The numbers are good, the comments are strong.
But 2 different people in 2 different sections wrote these comments:
"Dr. Hiram is a terrible teacher. He doesn't care at all if we pass or fail. He doesn't care about his job or being a good teacher. He really doesn't care about students at all."
"I don't know why he teaches if he hates students so much. He doesn't care if I pass or fail. He seems to hate students, telling us all these rules and never teaching anything. He should do something he cares about instead of teaching."
I know. They're students. They don't know anything, really. They certainly don't know what I'm doing. They only can respond to what they "understand."
But it kills me that anyone, even some Cincinnati suburban frosh, can think I don't care about what I'm doing, my students, or my job. I may be partly to blame. I do tell them that their grades are up to them, that nobody is going to "care" as much about their writing than they are. I may even play the cavalier proffie at times.
But it never occurs to me that anyone who spends 16 weeks with me would ever think I didn't care about the job or them. I think about the extra lengths I sometimes go to to make sure they have a chance to succeed, and I just feel so fucking defeated.