What I was more encouraged by though were not the comments about me so much as the ones about how the class had not only valued them as learners, but also prompted them to think differently about issues of equity and education. Consistently, there were high scores on items like "Students in this course were free to disagree and ask questions.", "I learned to value new viewpoints.", "I was stimulated to discuss related topics outside of class." and "I learned to think critically about difficult issues of diversity." What more can an instructor in multicultural education ask for? As a teacher, two things I've always found most gratifying- whether it's teaching 3 year olds, 17 year olds, or 22 year olds- is that 1) they grow as persons in an awareness of themselves and their abilities; and 2) they take from me a understanding of the subject area which they themselves have conceived on their own.
It's also always great to read the kind affirmations students give in their comments. This one's my favorite because it captures everything I had hoped to achieve with the class (and it also feeds the narcissistic self-validation that's always a small part of this whole teaching endeavor...):
This is honestly the best School of Ed class I've had (and now I'm done with the program). Serene was an excellent teacher- always prepared, always kind, always willing to help. Class discussion was really valuable and helped me engage in the topics and look at other viewpoints. When asked to say what I think, sometimes I can be narrow-minded but discussing with others helped me to see other perspectives and to value other viewpoints.