When I began teaching again in August, I walked into class with much reservation and trepidation, having been out of the classroom for so long. As the semester unfolded, I learnt alongside my students, about their likes and dislikes, their hopes and aspirations and things that were on their mind right now. Along the way, I tweaked my plans to give these students under my charge a more varied experience than they would otherwise get, pushing them to try something different from what they have known, and it has not been easy. Overall, this has been a mixed experience; joy at seeing the growth in some students and discouragement when u have students who do not seem to get it at all.
Today I think, marks the end of this journey as I receive my report card from students – end-term course feedback. And so now I guess I am reminded once more how it feels to receive bad grades. The quantitative feedback puts me at the 30 percentile and it is a humbling experience to be once again at the bottom of the pile. The qualitative feedback is mixed, with many positive remarks that uplifted my spirit. However, there were also many disparaging remarks that were upsetting even though I know where the students are coming from. There are also comments that are helpful to improving my course design and delivery for the next run, though I wish they could be made in more mature terms.
As I looked through these feedback I wonder if I should still teach since the feedback seems to suggest I am not so good at it. I was mightily discouraged and still am, and I will probably need more time to get over this. I am indebted to family and friends who heard me whine about this today, who bore with my crankiness, who reminded me not to throw out the baby with the bath water since it is not all negative feedback, and who reminded me to live out the growth mindset and try to do better the next time.
Well, negative feedback is hard to swallow but I will try and take it as graciously as I can. As the motto goes, “the best is yet to be.” I shall stop beating myself up over this and put it behind me. Sigh ~