This issue over students withdrawing (five now) four weeks into the semester, along with the one who complained, has me nuts. I told the dean that I haven't experienced this before, and didn't know why, and all she would say is that the four students who met with her didn't talk about me personally, just a lack of fit between teaching/learning styles. Apparently, they can't glean out of my lectures what is most important. Considering they have my lecture notes, arranged by outline, right in front of them when I lecture, that just doesn't make sense.
Anyway, the dean suggested I do a mid-semester anonymous evaluation, something that apparently a lot of the faculty on this particular campus do. A sort of a what do you like, what don't you like, what would you change kind of thing. But in light of the mass exodus, wouldn't the rest of the students see that as me admitting defeat and letting them call the shots?
The thing is, this is the only time this has happened. What if it's just a fluke, and not something that will happen again? I mean, if I've been teaching for four years, and nothing like this has ever happened, should I be letting it bother me so much?
And yet, it's driving me nuts. I know you can't please all the students, but most students I've had just suck it up and take it, they don't go whining to the associate dean.
Sigh. I don't know whether to do that mid-semester eval or not, or whether to take this as a fluke, or something more serious.