Yesterday I got my teaching evaluations for the spring semester. People consistently ranked me highly in the “which of these categories does your TA belong in” section. Not a surprise.
I was more interested in reading the comments. Most of them were whining about the class structure (over which I had no control). However, one person said I “laughed at students’ questions”.
REALLY? I was a bit shocked to read that. I would never belittle a student for asking a question, no matter how dumb (and they were pretty dumb at times).
With that said, I have to admit to being less than serious at times. So it’s entirely possible that the student told me, “This is going wrong and I can’t figure out why!!” and my response was, “Oh, no, the dreaded ____ jinx! That does pop up a lot,” or something like that. But I don’t consider that laughing at a question. Maybe someone does? (And, of course, after I moan about the jinx, I immediately tell help them troubleshoot. So it’s not like I’m unhelpful or anything.)