Monday, January 31, 2011


Warning, Long post...

At the end of every semester the university has the students fill out evaluations on their teachers, even grad students.  It is actually the grad students responsibility to go around to the different classes (the teacher will step out during the eval) and hand out the evaluations.

I just got mine back from last semester.  I unfortunately did not do as well as I would have liked or thought I might have done.  I got an overall score of 3.91 out of 5.  It was roughly midway of all of the grad students.  I was actually kind of bummed because I thought my kids liked me.  Reading through the "free response" answers it actually seemed like I got some very nice comments so I was confused why the overall score was so low.  Oh well.  Heres to improving for this semester!

I thought it would be fun to share some of the comments my students made with you guys.  I found it funny how within the same class the responses were so different.  Oh, when I share the nicer responses, its not to brag but to compare with the not so positive responses =)

(There were 2 questions on the instructor on the "free response" section.  "What are the major strengths of the instructor and then the major weaknesses")

It turns out that one girl REALLY didn't like me.  Lets start with that one...

Major Strengths:  None (with a frowny face)
Major weaknesses:  -Barely prepared.  -Could hardly answer any of my questions.  -Not good at relaying information.  -Hardly ever available outside of class.  -"Suspect" grading scale.  -Barely seemed to care.  -Quick to say "I don't know", without offering further assistance.

Wowzer!  It was actually kind of funny because right after reading that one I read these ones (again from the same class).

Major strengths:  Clear explanations, good with questions.  On time grading and respect
Major weaknesses:  None

Major strengths:  Always came to class prepared and ready to explain the assignment.  Also was there to give step by step guidance.
Major weaknesses:  Sometimes the grading was not explained carefully.  (I'll talk more about this one later)

Major strengths:  Always seemed interested in what the students were doing in each experiment.
Major weaknesses:  Grades to hard

One person said this
Major weaknesses:  He would constantly be late...
I honestly can say that I was NEVER late for any of my labs.  I was always early to prepare for lab.  
Oh, and going back up to the girl that really disliked me and said I was never available; If I am not in class I am ALWAYS in my office.  Many days from 7:30ish until 4ish.  I am ALWAYS in my office, way more then any other grad student and they all admit that and were blown away when I shared that one with them.  

Some more from my other class:

Major strengths:  Seemed to really care about what he was teaching, and helped as much as he could when answering questions.
Major weaknesses:  None

Major strengths:  He was very respectable and very cool as a bio teacher for lab.  (I liked that one =)
Major weaknesses:  Grades this course to hard

Major strengths:  Good guy, friendly, polite, respectful
Major weaknesses:  Never once received full credit for my labs  (many kids DID get full credit.  If you don't deserve it then you don't get it...)

At the end of the semester we hand out awards for the toughest grader and the easiest grader, "Hard ass grader"  and "Powder Puff grader" respectively.  Well, as you might have guessed from my "weakness" comments, I received the hard ass grader.  I was actually blown away by this because on almost all of the assignments I found myself giving points away to these kids.  I was trying to be as nice as I could with the grading.  We have rubrics to follow for the grading so I am told what to take points off for.  At times I would NOT take off some of the points that I probably should have, and I still was considered the hardest grader.  Hmm... not sure about that one

Anyways, I have actually really enjoyed teacher so far!  Perhaps I can change some things around and improve for this next semester  =)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Now that I am at a non-BYU school, I actually get a legitimate winter break (over a month!!)  Besides the week and a half that I was sick I have been keeping myself pretty busy with different projects around the house.  Here are just a few that I thought you guys might be interested in.
I put in a peg-board for the tools and moved them all over to the way that is shared with the house.  Hopefully this will help prevent toys from building up in front of them so we can easily get to them when we need them!! 

I then pushed the shelves together to close in the gap where the tools were located and tried organizing things so less stuff was cluttered on the ground.  Despite how it looks in the pictures it actually is a lot less cluttered and there is a lot more room in the garage to move around =)

With the help of Katy, when she was still here, I got a bunch of pictures hung around the house.  They really are a lot more straight when you look at them in person compared to how it looks in the picture... Katy and mom can back me up on that!

Moved the fish tank closer to the wall by cutting and adjusting the lid and getting a new filter for it.  (mom still hates it with a passion)

Hung the clock, again with Katy's help

These are on the wall to the right (next to the book shelves) when you are looking at the TV.  Also hung some other random pictures around the house.

I also tried gluing down the train tracks to the train table while Kelly and Katy's kids where here to test how it would hold up to play... complete and utter failure.  Those kids had that thing torn apart within 5 minutes of playing with it!!!  Maybe next time I am home I will try some kind of stronger adhesive 

Well, those were some of the larger projects I did.  Probably not very interesting to most of you but I haven't posted anything in a while so why not :}


Here is an attempt at a picture of the closet mom was talking about.  I forgot about this project, which is odd because it was a lot of work.  Anyways, it is the closet that is next to the bathroom by the kitchen and dining room.