Part of my job is to edit and comment on the students’ outputs – basically to identify what they can still improve in their outputs.
What I have observed is that their reaction to comments, criticisms, and suggestions seem to become more negative as time passes. In my days as a student, I treasured all the comments of my professors in my outputs. It made me feel like they really read and scrutinized my output – and I was very thankful for that. Even though I knew I would be getting criticisms, I looked forward to reading them. I was impatient to know what areas I can still improve on. I knew it was through those comments that I will improve. I never saw it as an attack to my intellect or my concept.
I do not know why some students view it the other way taking comments personally. When I comment on outputs and provide suggestions, I think of how the student can improve that project. I never enjoyed writing those comments just to spite them. I won’t waste my time doing just that. If I wanted to irritate them, I just give them all a relatively low grade and not write a single comment. It would save me a lot of effort and time.
If when for each comment I get an excuse, I sit there thinking “I’m not asking you why it looks like this or that. I am telling you that if would look better if you changed this font style to make it more credible.” I hate excuses. Lazy and unwilling – that is what I get from all these excuses. You want me to accept your outputs as is? Tell you its good? Then make them worthy of such comments. I don’t have high standards. These were the standards even during my time – perhaps even before that. If people can’t level to these standards, the standard is not the problem.
To be on the receiving end of such comments is a test of one’s professionalism. It trains one to not wallow in the mistakes one made but to focus what can be done to make the output better. Embracing one’s mistakes is part of being able to improve oneself. We get the best lessons through our biggest mistakes and the worst comments we have received.