It’s just gone midnight and I’m still in the office, frantically trying to catch up on course preparation for an undergraduate course that I am teaching (single-handedly) at the moment (the reasons I’m playing catch-up are quite exciting, but we’re embargoed right now so I’ll write more in a few weeks…). I’m busy writing Lecture 6 (to be given Monday morning) which is going to cover the role that evolution plays in conservation, but I also have to finish prepping the three hour, assessed conservation genetics computer lab for tomorrow, write up all the feedback for the last bunch of assignments and set up the second assignment through the online learning management system so that students can actually submit the assignment… I’m tired and hungry and I would really rather be home, so I dreaded an email that I just received.
You see, in an attempt to solicit feedback from students I set up an anonymous online form through Google which sends me an email notification each time a submission is made. Only the students have a link to this and there’s no personal information stored so they can just fire off whatever vitriol they desire and I can’t track it. It’s been useful so far, but used entirely for (constructive) criticism of the course. With some reluctance I clicked through to see what they had left and found this:
By far my favourite course. I really appreciate how you don’t try to sugar coat things, you teach them how they are and it really doesn’t seem biased. Sometimes it’s clear where your opinion lies which is fine because you don’t teach only your opinion like I’ve seen so many times before. When I missed class I was actually disappointed to not go because I really enjoy it. You seem to genuinely care about teaching the material and it’s very much appreciated.
I don’t know who you are, but thank you – you’ve made a very long evening extraordinarily pleasant. Now to the last bus home…