pre-course-survey

What did your best teacher at Mills do that makes you call her/him "best"?

SOC112

  1. Interested and engaging about course material
  2. A, B, C are all very organized lecturers. They discuss clearly the context of readings and writers, the impact they may have had on their society, what writers and/or movements their work influenced, and the shared or disparate themes in the work. I like understanding how the syllabus is structured.
  3. Was available for appointments to answer and discuss my questions.
  4. Had a well-organized syllabus; fostered good academic habits; taught skills that were applicable outside academia
  5. Her spunky personality definitely kept me interested. But also she was extremely personable and gave various examples so that we as a class understood clearly what she was speaking about. She open the floor to students by asking questions and asking for students to voice their opinions on a topic.
  6. he was very attentive and ask lots of questions so that the class could get involved instead of just lecturing.
  7. First of all she was approachable, which is a very important trait in a teacher for me as a student. She was open to any discussion, and was not afraid to keep talking about a certain topic continuously until everyone understood it.
  8. *most importantly, the more the teacher makes me feel comfortable inside and outside the classroom makes them a better teacher to me. It is important that I have a interest in the subject as well as the teacher.
  9. Clearly articulated complex concepts/ideas, encouraged participation without putting students "on the spot."
  10. The best teachers I have had, at Mills and other places, were able to clearly define their expectations at the beginning of the term and to stick to those expectations. Lecture material was engaging and fresh while still retaining consistency from year to year. Overall, the most important quality defining a "good" instructor is a clear, deep love for the subject matter.
  11. Created an interactive learning environment that fully engaged students with the material.
  12. Was engaging with the class and willing to change the syllabus to cater to the interest of the students and encourage class conversations and discourse around the material rather than lecture.
  13. My best professors are authentically interested in what they teach. I can't imagine a dry or boring lecture from a professor who thinks what they're teaching is the coolest.
  14. Engage with students in and outside of the classroom on the subject matter.
  15. My favorite teachers at Mills both approached class in a relatable captivating way. They engaged us in lectures rather than talking at us. I also enjoy humor, many professors at Mills take themselves too seriously!

SOC180

  1. Teaches courses that allow students with different learning styles to retain and critically analyze information provided in class as well as the materials (readings, films, etc) assigned outside of class
  2. He was involved in semester-long projects.
  3. This professor is generous with office hours, allowing for ideas to be worked out that were left hanging in class. He is less likely than other professor's I've had to oversimplify material in the classroom. He also has a tendency to assign somewhat too-difficult reading material for term papers (topics independently chosen) - as it turns out this works for me as a learning tool, as pushing the bounds of my understanding of an idea is generally a good idea, especially with a deadline.
  4. Brings in information from other disciplines and interrelates the material so students have an understanding of material from within discipline context and consider outsides disciplinary ideas as well
  5. Constantly asking, therefore, provokes questions within class which challenges students intellectually to constantly ask and question what is labeled as the "norm"
  6. They had a genuine interest in teaching her students to the best of their advantage and was willing to work with us to make the course as interesting as we wanted it to be, while acknowledging the realities of how much information can me covered over the course of one semester. They also presented the class with a holistic point of view and acknowledge both insiders and outsiders perspectives.
  7. Engaged students actively with the material.
  8. The best professor I had would make sure when answering a question a student would lay a foundation, so that everyone has the same understanding of the person's idea.
  9. They engaged with the students in and out of the classroom relating the subject matter to everyday life and stayed in tune with the dynamics of the types of students represented.
  10. My best teacher at Mills conducted classes like a conversation attempting to decenter the power hierarchy between teacher and student. She taught me how to write solid thesis driven papers and how to apply critical and social theory to my work. She understood that all of her students learned differently and diversified both her materials taught and her ways of teaching to address these differences. She was also very open to working with me when difficult circumstances came up in my life that prohibited me from finishing some assignments on time with the understanding and compassion to see that the deadline was less important than the final product produced.

What did your worst teacher at Mills do that makes you call her/him "worst"?

SOC112

  1. Did not direct class time efficiently, did not seem interested in the topic of the course, had trouble answering student's questions, syllabus was confusing - to the point that it was hard to figure out which readings were due on what day, when changes were made to the syllabus, it was not made very clear Her speed in class was too fast, couldn't write down anything and the slides were never smooth, there was always a problem. Embarrassing students, and having favorites.
  2. "I am not sure that I have had a teacher that was necessarily the worst.
  3. traits that I don't appreciate in teachers that i have had in past are:
    1. not showing up on time for meetings/office hours(* especially early morning appointments)
    2. calling me the wrong name, when I continuously tell them how to pronounce my name.
    3. Straying away from the syllabus. I plan ahead on assignments and when assignments are due at a different date that is not specified on the syllabus it gets a tad annoying. "
  4. Inhibited students through intimidation.
  5. what was being changed and how.
  6. She never replied to emails and she was very vague in describing assignments.
  7. Instill fear in the students by being intimidating and not explaining the material well.
  8. My least favorite teacher would lecture at us for a dreadful two and a half hours. She also gave us material on exams that was not given to us on a study guide.
  9. The "worst" instructors I have had were more concerned with egos than with their students' learning outcomes. They took questions personally, and were offended by even the gentlest criticism. It is far better to be boring than to make students uncomfortable in a way that does not facilitate learning (I am all for students being uncomfortable when it DOES facilitate learning, particularly in regards to questioning your own privilege).
  10. I don't want to name names, but one thing I really hate is assignments with vague or unclear instructions and guidelines. Teachers who give the fewest parameters always end up being the most nitpicky, but one shouldn't expect students to be mind-readers. I also don't like when discussions get really off-topic and teachers do nothing to bring it back to the issue at hand.
  11. Did not match the exams with our homework assignments.
  12. Showed up late to class; ignored student interests
  13. Did not engage with students, simply spouted off data and information.
  14. Use PowerPoints that came with the textbook in order to teach the class.

SOC180

  1. Constantly arrived to class late
  2. Language seemed to offend the women in the room (in the sense of abilities based on a students sex)
  3. Constantly brought up his other teaching position at another community college
  4. Rarely had available office hours or flexibility to meet with students outside of his regular office hours
  5. They consistently showed up to class late and blatantly stated that their focus in teaching was on a community and that the class they were teaching at Mills was a part time job that they had little interest in dedicating a lot of time to. They rarely offered outside time to meet with students even when everyone in the class was struggling and displayed little to no interest in the students' success in the class. And they were sexist.
  6. Did not use current classroom technology very well. He also presented scholarship that was outdated and often blatantly problematic. I felt like he did not adequately address his social position as a white man teaching at a women's college. That said, he was very sweet, just did not teach in a way that captured my attention and imagination.
  7. Simply presented data and information without class participation.
  8. He wouldn't take responsibility for the student's struggles. Instead of finding a solution to having a bad TA he responded saying "I know, I'm really shocked. But you should take it up with the provost, because my budget was cut." If a teacher can't take responsibility for a class as a whole not understanding the concepts, then he's not a proper fit at Mills.
  9. There was a lot of confusion regarding what was expected, when things were due, etc.
  10. Brought too much personal baggage into the classroom and simultaneously seemed intimidated by the students. This professor changed the syllabus almost weekly, making it difficult to plan ahead. Was not a good mediator of class discussions and often fell way off track.
  11. Intimidated the students and did not explain the material well.

What can you and your fellow students do to make a class a good one?

SOC112

  1. Be honest with each other and be open to new ideas and frameworks of thinking about topics. Respect is always important and helps regulate, as well as makes relationships nice.
  2. My fellow classmates can make the class most beneficial by coming prepared and fully engaging during class time. I enjoy hearing other people inputs and how i can relate or question them.
  3. DO THE READING. I can't tell you how many discussions I have witnessed that floundered because only a small handful did the reading.
  4. SIT BACK AND LET OTHERS TALK. On the flipside, when a single person persists in dominating the conversation with every inane thought, discussion is also stifled.
  5. Practice constructive participation. Read the materials and engage with each other on the topics while still giving others a chance to participate.
  6. Create a safe environment for everyone to express their feelings, thoughts, and ideas and to express these thoughts and opinions during class time in order to gain multiple perspectives.
  7. Come with questions that prompt good discussions, and be willing to balance listening and giving opinions.
  8. I plan on participating as much as possible as well as listening to others ideas. I would hope that we could make a environment where it was safe to voice out our opinions as well as respectfully disagree with each other.
  9. Do the reading, participate in class and work off each other's ideas
  10. Participate, contribute to class discussions, come to class prepared
  11. Read the assignments.
  12. Do the readings; bring in relevant material from outside the course
  13. Avoid unnecessary questions during class time.
  14. We should all participate in classroom discussions in order to help eachother understand the material and sharing that knowledge with one another.

SOC180

  1. Continue to ask questions to fellow students, in the sense that it can trigger further exploration in topic
  2. Engage in the class fully, develop a comfortable classroom environment, collaborate with one another, be genuine about our interest in a subject we want to explore in the class, and offer to help one another when we struggle.
  3. Remain open to learning from each other. Remember that we all make mistakes and that it is our enjoyment and experience of completing our work as well as what we learn along the way that is important. That said I'm very chill and adaptive. Do what you need to do to succeed and I'll let you know if a problem comes up.
  4. Interact with each other and the material. Be prepared for class and willing to participate.
  5. Be tolerant and open to various ideas/beliefs when discussing concepts.
  6. I'm not sure. Maybe some group assignments or open discussions during class.
  7. Maintain a respectful and charitable disposition while expecting each other to perform. Pay close attention to each personality and contribution, to discover opportunity to dovetail on ideas, strategies, designs, etc., always keeping collaboration in mind. Respect the interdisciplinary nature of the course material as mirrored in the classroom, and make an effort to include the perspective of respective background when appropriate, but also ready to try another one on. Complete coursework on time and always contribute in class.
  8. We should all participate in discussions and be helpfull to one another using the knowledge we have acquired.