Going through a particularly harrowing student issue right now (oh, yes, I am still teaching) and it made me check out my professor rating (which I have not done in about two years). I was surprised by the positive ones and confused by the negative ones, mostly because they are not only REALLY badly written (which, hello, point proven) but also because they are mostly so baseless.
There is a dangerous sense of entitlement and consumerization of post-secondary education that has been and is growing at an alarming rate. I really do fear for the state of education and academics in general. From what I understand, these problems are even happening at ivy league levels. I am all for a sense of individuality and purpose, but at the end of the day there is a certain respect and authority that comes with being a professor as someone who is an authority on the subject matter and who knows what they are doing. Just because you may not like it does not give anyone the right to harshly criticize, lambast, censure, or fire a professor. Education was, is, and always will be a privilege, not a mandate and not a product.
When I first started teaching, I was never in fear of losing my job in a student failed to turn in an assignment, or didn’t like their grade, or did not approve of the course materials/lessons. Now, I have to monitor and review everything I do, say, teach, and grade because one unhinged nerve and the alarms go blaring off. And 9 times out of 10, they are unjustified. There is no sense of accepting responsibility for one’s actions and many of the requests would be laughed at in the real world where you lose your job when you screw up or don’t follow directions. There is no interest in skills building. Just churn them out like a knowledge factory.
But at least I work under bosses who understand the nature of the beast and are as supportive as they can be in the environment. It makes it easier, even if we all do get screwed at the end of the day.