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The Perils of Teaching

Amy Wilson

A student recently asked me my opinion on a fellow teacher I don’t personally know anything about, so I told her that while I couldn’t really help, it might be worth her while to check out a site like ratemyprofessors.com or myspace’s similar feature. The student looked at me like she was the cat that ate the canary, like I knew about some sort of great secret feature out there that only the kids are supposed to know about.

On one hand, sites like these can be really dangerous – like student evaluations, all it takes is a couple of disgruntled students to totally screw up your average. I think the majority of teachers try really hard and are really earnest in their practice of teaching, it’s just that when you have so many people passing through your door in a given semester, it’s just bound to happen that a few people here and there won’t like you or will dislike your teaching style or maybe just hate the class you’ve been assigned to teach. On the other, I have to say that for the most part the students at SVA have been very generous and open with their assessments of their teachers.

Having said that…

I HAVEN’T RATED A SINGLE HOT PEPPER YET, FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE. Ok, the whole “hot pepper” section of the ratings is the only thing I really object to (since what difference does the physical attractiveness of the teacher make?) but hey – the system exists, so who am I to pretend it doesn’t? There are teachers in their 70s who are ranked as being more attractive than I am, since my rating is at a zero. How is this possible?!??! I wear makeup to class for you people!! My one consolation is that another professor who is about my age and very good-looking also rated a zero… which means what, exactly, I don’t know. Had I not noticed that, I probably would have killed myself earlier this morning.

Anyway. Yes, I am pandering shamelessly.

I think you know what you have to do.


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