Sunday, October 5, 2008

Getting student feedback: October 2008 edition

I always seek feedback from my students on a fairly regular basis. The questions are geared towards figuring out what I can do better, as well as what the students themselves can improve. In short, I get a good idea of what's working or not working. I also get insight into the things I don't see from my perspective.

I used the mid-year student survey that I've typically given in January. The reason for giving it so early is that I'm not happy with the way things have been going, and I need that fresh perspective that only students can give. I just read through all of their comments, and I wanted to share some of what I learned.

The one thing we did in class that helped me learn the most was...
...everything, because even though we talk a lot, I still learn because you have patience
...When you sat down with me & explain the assignment to me explained the problems clearly & you took your time you didn't rush like other teachers.
The consensus I got from many students was that they learned the most when I worked through problems on the board or helped students individually when they needed it.

Mr. D could make math more interesting and exciting to me if he...
...makes some problems that we would have to deal with in real life
...was into it.
...does exactly what he does. Its only interesting and exciting depending on students motivation to learn & get out.
...would stand on his hands and teach
I have no idea about that last one, but I guess it's not a stretch compared to some other things I've done to get students' attention.

Mr. D can show he cares about me as a person by...
...talking w/ me.
...letting me use his sweater when im cold
...keeping me on task giving us a chance.
...asking me how was my day
...asking me how's work, i'm assuming he knew the reason for my poor participation, HW & sleeping in class :( he helps everyone so I say he cares for everyone

I hate it when Mr. D says...
...oh you know how to do it just try is the homework guys!

One thing Mr. D should do more is...
...teach people as a class instead of individual one by one
...give me feathers!!! [My school has a system where good behavior is rewarded by feathers, which can be redeemed for different things.]
...fight crime
Once again, I have no idea where that last one came from. Not surprisingly, it's on the same survey as the person who told me to teach class while doing a handstand.

Usually the most telling things come from the "additional comments and suggestions" section at the end.
...Mr. D your the stuff never change
...You're a great teacher Mr. D but you still got to smile more
...Mr. D, you're a good teacher. Don't sweat it. It's more the students than you, trust me; you can teach. It's the students' ability to learn at question...
The tone of all of the surveys ranged from positive to apathetic, which I think is pretty good. I sometimes get the idea that my students think I do these surveys because I'm a horribly depressed person who is desperate for their approval and assurance.

The scary thought I keep having is: What if they're right?

Mid-Year Student Survey (via Google Docs)