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student evaluation

Kirk Nechamkin knechamk at panix.com
Mon Jul 15 07:48:29 EST 1996

Someone said:

: Along these same lines, I often get comments from students about how they 
: cannot look at me as an instructor because I wear jeans and t-shirts. Do 
: they expect me to  wear dresses every day because I am a female 
: instructor? Do they expect me to wear nice clothes to teach a LAB where 

Again, here we go with the 'female-instructor' bit. Trust me, it has
nothing to do with your gender, but the fact that your dress is 
informal. Some male professors might have the same exact problem
if they likewise wore jeans and sneakers instead of their ususal
suit-and-tie. While the dress code for men and women is generally
different, a student's critical valuation of a professor who 
strays from a given conventionality will be generally the same; that
is, a student may have trouble distinguishing (and/or respecting a 
professor/instructor who wears jeans and sneakers (like the fellow 
student's peers), as opposed to a professor who wears a monkey suit.
Just consider for a moment if the anchor-persons on the 10-O'Clock
news wore jeans and T-Shirts instead of suits and dresses. Just 
consider the impression you'd get of that TV network. Informality
gives a roughly similar impression, regardless of whether male or
female. The only reason why this has become and issue is because YOU
MAKE IT AN ISSUE by giving it a second thought.

: Do males get these same inane comments about body parts/clothing/jewelry 
: on TEACHING evaluations? I don't mean to imply that all students are 

Yes, we do (did, in my case). And we likewise such comments as
students (from our peers), when we don't shave and when we wear 
inexpensive shirts, jeans, sneakers and/or whatever article 
whomever-the-hell is currently fixed on. Then, there's the 
occasional commentary about how I/he/we should work out more, 
and/or lift more weights, and/or get a hair-cut, and/or wear a 
hat to cover the horribly misguided mass of hair so that 'girls'
won't get the wrong impression.

And if I got comments about the disliking of something as frivolous
as my K-Mart watch, I would feel pretty good about the job I'd done
that semester. Believe me, when there is something wrong with the
way you're teaching, students will have pin-point objectivism about
specfically WHAT was wrong with your TEACHING PRACTICES, and they
will ALL make it VERY clear in the evaluations...and they won't
ramble on about nonsense. 

-Kirk Nechamkin | National Coalition of Free Men (NCFM) http://www.ncfm.org/

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