by: Daniela Contreras
Professors are the rulers and the classrooms are the realm. Professors are incredibly influential people. They have the ability to encourage, discourage and enlighten. As employees, they also have a right to protect themselves from any unjust treatment. Tenure means professors can’t be fired without evidence of incompetence, unprofessional behavior, or the closure of an academic department due to budget cuts. I get it. Professors shouldn’t get fired for one or two bad reviews on RateMyProfessors. There should be enough evidence to prove a professor is clearly not serving his or her students justly, but what does this safety net mean for students’ learning?
Could anyone else follow the argument here?ReplyDelete
Not at all. Couldn't even find the beginnings of some sort of unifying idea lurking around somewhere in the middle or the end, and, after 25 years of teaching comp., I'm pretty good at that. Every time I thought I had some idea of where the argument was going, it bounced off in an entirely different direction. I'm not even 100% certain of whether the author contradicted herself, or just kept going off on tangents, since no one idea was developed completely enough to be contradicted by another.Delete
So . . . s/he wants student evaluations to matter more, but tenure is a racket, but adjuncting is terrible, but why are we evaluating teachers after they're hired anyway. . . ?ReplyDelete
Tenure is bad because tenure? But evaluations are good, but not good, but tenure is a problem because people have tenure??? Wow.ReplyDelete
Oh, the inanity!ReplyDelete
O Ms. Contreras, you should already know that it's a good idea to have at least one person other than yourself read your screed before you cast it before the public. "If teachers must prove themselves after being hired, why bother hiring them at all?" Is that an argument? If so, in defense of what point? Isn't it rather like saying that if students must take tests after being admitted to college, why admit them at all?Delete
If I follow your point, it's that you want more than you think you have. You want novices to judge the experts, because when job security depends on these opinions, it leads to grade inflation. And this preserves teaching quality just how? But tenure is un-neccessary competition, while student popularity contests (evaluations) are necessary competition?
"I don’t pretend to know what being a professor entails..."
Oh, but you do pretend. You do.
Can I use "Oh the inanity" from time to time? It kind of says it all.Delete
Yes, please do, It's not like I stretched very far to coin it.Delete
You may also delight in the allusion to zeppelins vaporizing, with the charing of human flesh avoided or included to suit the situation and/or mood.
"The hiring of professors, especially in a university, is a serious matter."ReplyDelete
As opposed to all those professors hired by, say, the NFL, or the local pet shop.
They are soooo cuuuuute sometimes.ReplyDelete
I beg to differ that they can tell which profs care. I don't care and always get on my evals that they love that I care so much about each of them. They also call me bubbly. Not a single one of my friends would characterize me as bubbly. I can fake it really good when I have to gain and maintain their attention.ReplyDelete
Well, shit, CC--you have them wrapped perfectly in that Stockholm Syndrome thing. They greatly fear you, and somebody who didn't care would not bother to strike such terror within their pore li'l hearts, so you must care, right?Delete
ANNd I'll confess, I care, but never more than they do. As I tell them, walk with me or behind me up this hill; I'm not going to push you.