Teaching is hard work. You spend hours researching the syllabus, then 5-8 hours per lecture, then, in an online class, recording the lectures, then meetings with students, grading papers,etc. It’s a lot! So to get a written complaint from a student is a blow- you work so hard, and then they have the gall to critique you! It’s ok though- we’re all learning, and when I received an email that some of my language was offensive, I crafted a careful and thoughtful response, which the offended student never replied to. Now, this weekend, I learned that a student/s (same or different?) have complained to the department chair about my teaching. They say I do not focus enough on trans and non-binary issues.
So I have a plan in place to fix this for next term- I will have a panel of trans and non binary students, and will add a lesson about trans and NB- so I am taking it as constructive criticism. And thankfully, my chair is extremely supportive of me- he is understandably worried, but I feel like he’s on my side. And that feels good. But it just feels so bad to know that I’ve inadvertently offended people….I try to be the best teacher I can be, and while I am treating this as a learning moment for me, that hardly makes it sting any less.