Today, I brought one of my classes to the computer lab to fill out a “report card” for me. We discussed the difference between constructive feedback and being mean, and then I let them go. Some kids took 20 minutes and some kids took the full 40 minutes to fill it out.
I let them be anonymous if they wanted to be because I wanted more honest feedback, and I was worried they might not be fully honest if they thought I would hold it against them. Most students were anonymous, but about 1/3 shared their names.
None of the students were intentionally mean in their feedback, but some of it was eye-opening. I’m still sitting with it, and digesting it. Thinking about how to take action on some of it and make changes. Also thinking about the survey itself – which questions were informative.
They will remember #ConnectingReps and being “on TV” (@AmyLucenta and @GraceKelemanik) cuz “Getting on TV in class is unique.” “the matching a to b talk and reflect strategy because it helped me use visual learning and everything gets explained many times.”
The other big thing they liked was from @RhondaBondie1 – I do a practice day before exams where I let them choose which skill(s) to work on. I also do a lot of “goldilocks problems” where I have them choose the ones that are “just right for them” – and MANY students liked that.
On a scale: 1 – strongly disagree/ 5 – strongly agree In this class, ALL of the students gave me either 4s or 5s that they felt like I respect each student – so that’s a win. All but four gave me 4s or 5s on “makes me feel like a member of the class community.” & those 4 gave 3s.
Very mixed bag about whether or not I have a good sense of humor – I had students at the top and students at the bottom! I’m sad that two kids can’t tell that I like teaching (they said 1 or 2) & some students, I clearly didn’t connect with…
There’s some conflicting information: some students mention the HW being too hard… and other said it was too easy! Some students said we spent too much time on certain things and others said they found it helpful! Some students said I rush them while others said we’re too slow!
Then there’s some feedback about some aspects of the class that I need to reflect on more deeply. I do these daily writing reflections called “My Understandings” – I’ve always gotten push-back from students on them, because they’re not used to writing in math class.
This time, I got a good suggestion – assign it weekly. Sometimes the Qs felt repetitive. I like that idea – it still requires them to reflect on their learning, but it doesn’t feel arduous to do. If I give it on Monday, then they can add to it all week & we just check next week
Many of the students commented that they would remember the “card thing” I do with the #visiblyrandomgroups from @pgliljedahl and they liked the opportunity to get to know and work with their peers… I currently do it daily, and one student suggested changing it to weekly.
Almost all of the students commented about our class discussions – some felt like they wanted more time to talk in groups, some felt like they liked how much time we talked in groups. Some commented on how I didn’t talk all period as a good thing.
A lot to chew on. And tomorrow, I will bring my other three classes to the lab to complete the same survey. I think I know some things I’ll change before next year’s report card, but I want to be able to compare the four classes data exactly this year, so no changes overnight.
Thank you to @cultofpedagogy and your blog post on soliciting student feedback and @MrVaudrey and @mathycathy for sharing the google form. I used that as my basis, but modified some of the questions/added a few others. I really got some helpful feedback from my kids.
I also have to say – it’s hard to get your ego out of the way! I’ve had to read and reread the student feedback multiple times so far to avoid getting offended. Once all of them were submitted though, and I read through and I noticed trends and conflicting info…
It helped me to quit taking it personally (QTIP!). I realized they were doing what I asked for – giving me constructive feedback to improve as a teacher. And none of them were mean or said “You’re horrible!” In fact, a few thanked me or called me their favorite teacher!
I have to let go a little and say, “I tried my best. I supported them the best I could, and next year, I’ll do a little bit better. And I’ll be better because they helped me to become better.”
Maybe I should’ve just written a blog post with all of these tweets?? (DONE!)
(NOTE: This was originally a thread on twitter. Each bullet point is a separate tweet)