At the end of every class I teach, students have the option of filling out an evaluation of my class. Not many students fill them out now that the evaluations are done online, and I don’t blame them. When I was a student, I never took evaluations seriously. I’d just choose one number that reflected my general feeling of the class and check that box down the board. I wouldn’t write any comments. My goal was always to get out of class as soon as possible.
I always check the results of my evaluations, but it’s not because I’m concerned how they turned out. Even during the period when the administration informed us that the results would be a factor in the decision whether to re-sign our contracts, I didn’t really care.* When I check the results, I always go straight to the comments section for feedback. I want to see what’s working and what’s not, and I try to adjust my class accordingly as long as the feedback is valid. (It’s also nice to get a compliment once in a while.)
This past week, I got my first reviews on Amazon from people I’ve never met.** Not that I don’t appreciate the reviews from the people I know. I appreciate everyone who took the time to write a review.
I appreciate the reviews from people I know because they took the time to help me out and I probably wouldn’t have done the same. Although the book and blog are evidence to the contrary, I don’t like sharing how I feel about things and people knowing how I feel about things. And if the writers of those reviews hadn’t taken the time to write them, I wouldn’t have had any reviews for the first three months.
I appreciate the reviews from people I don’t know because there’s no other way for me to communicate with them other than the reviews, no other way to hear what they thought of the book. And if they’ve written a favorable review, there’s no way for me to say thanks unless they happen upon this blog and see this post. All I can do is reciprocate through promotion if they have something to promote.
Amazon reviews (in chronological order)
1. Joel Browning
3. John McCrarey: Long Time Gone (blog)
4. Arthur Cooper
1. Jackie Bolen: How to Get a University Job in South Korea (book), The Wealthy English Teacher: Teach, Travel, and Secure Your Financial Future (book), How to Thrive in South Korea: 97 Tips from Expats (book), 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Teenagers and Adults (book)
For me, I’m happy simply that people are reading the book. I do hope that more reviews are on the way because I was told that more reviews will result in more people reading the book. Hopefully, there are more on the way with all the readers who got their books during the free promotion.
* I’ve been (playfully?) accused of drinking with my students in order to get higher scores on my evaluations. That wasn’t the case at all. I drank with my students because I enjoy drinking. I didn’t offer or accept requests to drink for all my classes; I only drank with classes that I thought would be fun to drink with.
** The Goodreads review was the first review the book received from someone I don’t know. It was written more than a month ago. (I’m also aware that the modifier “on Amazon” in that sentence can be confusing.)
*** emma seems to be the only reviewer I don’t know with no connection to Korea. The other two reviewers seem to have lived in Korea for a good deal of time. I wonder if they stumbled on the book on their own or if they were recommended the book by someone I know.