The teaching evaluations for my last semester here in OU just came in. Wait… I have something in my eye. What?!? NO! I’m not crying! You’re crying! I can’t describe how satisfying getting a review like this was, especially for a course as though as MIS2800. I had some good evaluations in the past, but none as unequivocally positive as this one.
Thinking what led to this positive outcome, I came to a realization. I always viewed my role in the classroom as having two sides: coach to the students, and a gate keeper for my employer. I try to nurture the students, while at the same time enforcing strict rules to make sure they actually meet the standards of the institution I work in.
Once I realized the reason I kept walking into the classroom day after day was because of my students and not because of my employer, I was able to be more flexible. I now realize that in the past I was focusing too much on the gate keeper role, to the detriment of the coach role. Lesson learned: Teach like every semester is you last semester. Do what is right for your students, no matter how unconventional it is for your institution.