Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Faculty Report Card

At my School where w are big on counting, it is (self) report card time.  We get a form that goes on forever and asks questions about every imaginable part of the job. For example, did you read any manuscripts for students? I stopped keeping track of that . . .  actually I never kept track of it. How many people did you suggest should download your articles, How long is the list of advertisements after your signature on a letter.   How many externs did you supervise? (That one is important because that is where the students pay us to work somewhere else for nothing and we bankroll the take. )  And then there is "Did you turn off the light when exiting the men's room." I've always felt that one was unfair because someone else may be in there and you may have to fess up that you did not turn off the light. Nevertheless, even though there are no other light sources or windows in the men's room,  I always turn the light off because it is cool to hear the cursing and screaming.

There is the usual  stuff: How many students did you teach? I think they may actually have that in their on records somewhere -- Don't you think?  I always put down zero because I think it is a trick question. I know how many are enrolled but how can I know how many I taught? If you look at some of my exam answers the number is pretty low.

How about this. Did you attend any conferences at which you did not make a presentation? If "yes" where did you eat?  Another trick question. Is it to determine how much of the school's money you spent confercating or is it some kind of feather in your hat to go somewhere and sit there.

I am not sure who grades these reports but I hope is it not the little girl who sat in front of me in 2nd grade who, when we exchanged papers to grade, would always put a big X on my paper if I did not dot an "i" and then wave her hand until the teacher called on her and say, "How many points off for not dotting an "i."

We are supposed to present evidence of our impact in the profession. It's like "did you have an impact in a terrarium."  Like the tree in a forest I wonder if when a law professor says something does anyone hear it outside the terrarium. Law professor praise is the ultimate in the one hand clap. Nevertheless, the right answer is 50,000 SSRN downloads, 852 judicial citations, 3400 citations by  other scholars, 53 Papal references, and 2300 texts. I always write down that answer and then, if challenged, threaten to sue the school and the dean for destroying the only evidence I had. I really hate them for doing that and forcing me to make that threat but I know what they are up to and they know I know.

I give way too many talks to remember and organize a conference every day. In fact, what you are reading now is one of my scholarly papers. And when I am in the lounge getting a cup of God-awful donut flavored coffee, that was a conference. I had 5 cups today alone. Sometimes I give asynchronous talks. I go into the lounge alone and give my talk and people who come in later may hear the echo.

So far, my annual report is only 100 pages long but that's fine. I just changed the date on the one I have been submitting for 10 years.

One thing I am really proud of is that I always get very high marks on "getting along with others."

1 comment:

Athena said...

Hi Jeff,

I dont know if you read this article to make an asynchronous talk, but just now you know you were not alone. You have a small talk with me.

First you dont need a presentation to be a good professor, neither many students enrolled in your classes. You need from the total number of the enrolled persons a high rate of students to have succesfully completed the class at the end of the term. I am sure you have one of the highest rates because you are very social and ready to help the students inside and outside the class without thinking of your working hours and you teach in a very theatrical and clear way! Your students have the same opinion with me in "rate your professor" web page.

In Germany, where i live, if a teacher of a private law school has more than 80% of unsuccesful enrolled students in his classes, he/she is not a good one. The number of enrollments means nothing. The feedback the students give for the professor counts very much in Germany.

The slides of ppt presentations do not make someone a good teacher. The way the teacher communicates with his class makes the difference. You are really good in supporting and helping all students. Even in the online teaching in the MOOC in Coursera you were so good that you ended in the 5th place between more than 120 top forum posters and you received many many points of admiration and approval by all of your students. These listings may offer to you some fresh evidence for your new report. I am a lecturer in Germany and i was one of your online students in Coufsera. My opinion is supported by many seminars i accomplisned in psychology of teaching in Munich. Nothing is missing from your teaching style.

Your article was very humorous. Keep up the good work there.