I just looked at my teaching evaluations for my international trade course this Fall, and it was a bit like taking a cold shower. Frankly, I was expecting a big improvement from previous years, after the work I had put into redesigning it. But it wasn't to be.
Looking at the detailed comments, I find that most students were quite pleased with the course and the lectures. But there was an undercurrent of dissatisfaction relating to a number of issues. I was generally judged to be inaccessible outside the classroom (probably fairly so). The course needs more policy applications, said some. And we need more assignments along the way to make sure we are learning the material, said many. (I am not kidding... This is a bunch of MPAID students after all.) Most significantly, it appears, many students found me somewhat intolerant of diverse views and disrespectful. We are afraid to ask "dumb" questions, wrote one person.
Now that last charge comes as a surprise. I am the "many recipes" guy after all. But there must be something to it, as it is the second time I get this kind of complaint--and these students are not a bunch of complainers.
It is clear that I need an attitude adjustment. There will be a new me on display here.