22.11.04

Once a teacher...

I had to fill out some work review forms today, and damn if that didn't immediately catapult me back three years (or more), to this time of year when I'd be pondering a similar computer screen and wondering how many ways I could say someone was "reliable"or "did his/her work well" before it became patently obvious that I had nothing else to say about them. This time next year, I'll probably be stumped by this same problem again. Why am I going back to school again? (Oh yeah, gotta pay the bills. That ol' excuse.)

It's not that I never have anything good to say about the students or colleagues around me. For some people, I can write whole novellas. For others, it's a little slow-going, but I can start with bullet point and improvise for others. And then there's the others: the ones that no matter how hard you tried to get to know, to see what they do best (or worst), to find out more about them from other students/colleagues --- you somehow never got anywhere and when the time comes, you feel you can't honestly write type anything beyond platitudes and cliches and damning with faint praise.

To any former students reading this, I apologise for some of the crap I've ever written on your testimonials and progress reports. Whether I knew you well or not, I know I have sinned, for recently I paged through the last batch of testimonials I wrote, and damn there was some pretty crappy writing in there.

I wish I could make a resolution to write better recommendations/comments in future, but after this morning's struggle with just two forms, I'd better not make promises I can't keep. I stared blankly at the screen for a good half hour before scuttling plaintively to beg a colleague for three adjectives --- just three, please --- to get me started. (Fortunately, that did the trick.)

I have three more to do tomorrow...

4 Comments:

At 11/23/2004 3:09 am , Blogger Agagooga said...

Most people err in the other direction when writing appraisals.

 
At 11/24/2004 1:01 am , Blogger Tym said...

As in, they tend to write nicer things than they mean?

 
At 11/24/2004 10:40 pm , Blogger Agagooga said...

Rather, mean nicer things than they think

 
At 11/24/2004 10:44 pm , Blogger Tym said...

Gah. I know exactly what you mean. Resolve to speak in plain, pithy language the next time I have to write recommendations/performance reviews.

 

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