Last Friday, I met one of my neighbors in the shuttle bus. She was so upset and told me what had happened.
One of her student came to her after her exam and told her this.
“Nobody really understood what you said in your class. No one learned anything from this class. Many students say bad things about you on the web site. ”
This was a big surprise for her as she believed her students enjoyed her Literature class very much. She knows her students who don’t have much interest in Literature and some of them are a bit too weak to understand. So she gave them her lecture as easy as possible. She said, it’s almost like story telling to children. She always gave them some handouts to help their understanding.
“Everybody understand? Any questions?”
She asked every time after the lectures but there were no question at all and they always gave her smiles. So she never doubted until then. She didn’t understand why the students didn’t tell her anything and only said bad things behind her back.
One thing that made her sadder was this student’s words.
“Even X gets better comments from the students because he gives us very good marks.”
She is the only foreign teacher in her department and other teachers are all Chinese. X is one of them and obviously both teachers and students don’t like him for some reason. X is the sort of person who should get the worst remarks but now she gets worse than him. She knows many Chinese teachers in her department treat their students like children and pretty much spoil them in many ways, from her point of view. But never realized how difficult her situation had become. Students just complain a lot behind her back and only expect good marks from her. Furthermore both students and the other Chinese teachers want and ask her to give students good marks even the students are not good enough. Of course she doesn’t want to give them unfairly good marks and feels it’s not the right thing to do. I’m mot sure what she is going to do now, but unfortunately she has to keep teaching them same subject in the next semester too.
I was so sorry for her and got worried about myself for a moment but soon I decided I do not care about it. Students might be saying a lot of bad saying behind my back but I really don’t know and couldn’t know as my Chinese is still at a newly born baby’s level. Ignorance is bliss. Even if I know about it, what can I do? They are just complaining and not criticizing nor giving suggestions to make things better. However, I can see on my students’ exam papers that they have been studying hard and understood what I told them well enough. So I can give them fairly good marks without any hesitation. I’m happy.
Notice: Nanjing Scribble will be dormant for a while. See you again when a kindly spring breeze makes me come out of hibernation.