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by Peter Moskos

February 4, 2011

Rate My Professor

"[Moskos's] ego barely fits into the room."

"His book which he wrote is not great at all, pretty boring, although he thinks its the best. He also has that 'oh, look at me, I went to Harvard, I'm so great' attitude at times."

"Doesn't really seem to connect with his students. I also found his way of lecturing rather disjointed."

"For the graduate level, his teaching is Amateur. . . . Pointless."

"He's a liberal, its all the same poor me i;m blacka and under privlaged stuff."
Those are some of the comments you can read about me at rateyourprofessor.com.

Students sometimes get asked if I read ratemyprofessor. Of course I do. But not too much. Still, I check every year or two because I want to know what other people can read about me. And if all the rankings were negative, then I would worry.

I do think the school's student-written evaluations of teachers are valid and useful. Professors, myself included, can always improve listening to constructive criticism. And I take my teaching seriously; I enjoy teaching and I want to be good at it.

But it's silly to get obsessed over website rankings because I have all of 19 comments on that website (and not one says I'm hot). And I've taught over 800 students. As any social scientists knows, a 2-percent response rate is worthless. In many ways, it's worse than worthless because people will draw false conclusions. Put another way, in hundreds of hours of classroom instruction: is that all you got?

Honestly, I'd be worried if none of my students didn't hate me. As everybody knows, you can't please all the people all the time. I'm happy to please most of my students most of the time.

What if the tables were turned? Honestly, I really like my students. All of them. Well, almost. But in seven years of teaching, I can only think of three students I did not like (And interestingly, all three were graduate students. One was emotionally unstable. And another later put me down as a reference, which was odd).


Capt. Jean-Luc Pikachu said...

Haters gonna hate.

PCM said...

Couldn't agree more.

Pete Guither said...

I believe it's ratemyprofessors.com

PCM said...

You're right. Corrected. Thank you.

Mrs Gotti Rules said...

Hello Pete,
Yes, you can't please everyone. Being a teacher of younger students, I usually hear criticism from parents. My husband has helped me become more hardened and not take these comments to heart (I typically do). There is a site for us www.ratemyteachers.com. It is crazy what people will write on the internet even though there is no evidence to support their statements about others. I am sure you are a fabulous professor :)
Oh, there is a site www.ratemycop.com. Although my husband isn't on this (thank goodness), we have found other blogs that have been less than flattering about him. I wonder why?

JCH said...

I agree that haters are going to hate and the "lovers" don't bother to write unless they decide you are a hot chili pepper and you stimulate their physical rather than intellectual appetite. I am using your book in my current issues in policing class and my students love it! Furthermore they are writing better papers about socialization from academy to street than they ever did when I assigned the classical articles (including my own). So Kudos. Big Egos with a sense of humor and high level of emotional and intellectual intelligence are hard to come by!