Once we get to college, we’ve already been in school for many years. We’ve watched and interacted with numerous teachers for countless hours and years.
Essentially, we’re expert observers.
Most of us understand what works in a classroom and what does not. Linfield offers amazing classes and professors, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t areas needing improvement.
There have been a couple instances where I struggled to understand the direction a class was going, and I wasn’t alone.
As soon as the class ended and the door was shut behind us, almost every student walked away shaking their heads in frustration.
“I have no idea what’s happening in that class,” and, “I’m not even going to try anymore,” were a few of the comments I heard, and have even said myself.
Not even going to try?
Is that really what we should be saying after we walk out of a class that costs us upwards of $1,000?
As students, it’s our responsibility to get the most out of the opportunities presented to us.
One of the ways we can avoid walking away from a class frustrated in the future is by utilizing an important resource provided to us at the end of the semester: professor evaluations.
Although there are students who can exaggerate and have unreasonable attitudes about a certain professor or their teaching style, we have, for the most part, similar ideas as to what is reasonable, effective—and not effective—in the classroom.
Of course, it is equally important that students fill them out as honestly as possible.
However, an outlier isn’t going to throw off the results from a larger group of students.
Accounting for this is as much the responsibility of the student as it is the institution.
If the institution doesn’t take the surveys seriously, neither will the students nor the professors.
I want to stress that these surveys should not be seen as a tool to call out “bad” professors. I don’t believe Linfield has bad professors.
These surveys are not a time to “bash” professors, but should be seen as a chance for constructive criticism.
Evaluations should illuminate problem areas, and the information they provide should be used to make improvements. Stagnation is a dangerous thing in any college.
I believe that taking the professor evaluations more seriously can be a key step in avoiding any sort of stagnation in the institution.
Linfield would be nothing without its professors. As students, we should respect our professors and ourselves.
We can do so by welcoming these constructive opportunities.
Chrissy Shane can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.