Monday, December 04, 2006

My First Evaluation; or, Etude in Apprehension

Today I walked into the faculty area at school where they keep our mailboxes. I love getting mail; it makes me feel like I'm part of some cool faculty club. I like seeing my name next to a little slot where people can put anything from Secret Santa flyers to contracts to students' papers, dropped off on a day I'm not here. It just kind of makes me feel important.

Today, however, was probably the most important piece of mail I've ever received since I started here: a large envelope filled with student evaluation forms. You remember....the ones we filled out all the time when we were in college. Your opportunity to wail and gnash your teeth at the gods-that-be and tell them what a rotten time you've had in this class or that....or a chance to say what a cool teacher so-and-so is and how they should never, ever be fired under any circumstances. I once used an evaluation--throwing anonymity to the wind--to tell my chamber choir director never to make me sing second alto again (FYI, I'm a mezzo soprano).

So now I have this stack of blank evaluation forms that I have to give to my class. I'm supposed to do it this week at some point; I think I'll hand them out on Wednesday since attendance is kind of low today, and also because it will give me time to center myself and prepare for whatever they may say. Not that I'll ever read them....but I'm sure I'll be given an overview at some point. I pray the students are kind and say nice things about me. I've already got 3 classes to teach in January and that's not changing as far as I know, but it still makes me very nervous. Joe, my boss, has put a lot of faith in me. I don't want to let him down. Especially when I feel like I've had a great time here so far, and every day I get new ideas to use in this class or future ones. I really think I was meant to do this.

And crap, I just remembered I need to put together lesson plans for January, when I'll be in New Hampshire. I'll be having someone sub for me for the days that I'm gone. One more thing I have to get on top of, like, yesterday.