Constructive Criticism

20 Aug

This upcoming year will be my third year in the teaching profession. While I like to think that I am the best teacher ever, I understand that by anyone’s standards three years does not an expert make. I know that I still have a lot to learn and perfect before I would even consider myself close to being an established teacher.

In the spirit of professional growth and self reflection, I had my students last year fill out an anonymous (if they wanted it to be) end-of-year survey to evaluate how I was as a teacher in their eyes. I’ve been reading over these reflections now as I begin to prepare for the upcoming school year, and a lot of the information has been valuable. They’ve told me that they wished they had done more “projects” (interesting) and more writing (I could not agree more) and watched more movies (of course). They also told me that they hate root words (sorry kiddos, required by the district) and would prefer to sit in rows versus groups (not what I expected). Overall, most of these surveys will be very useful to me as I plan this upcoming year.

Emphasis on the word most.

As is to be expected, there were a handful of students who either didn’t get the questions or decided to be smartasses creative with their responses. Here are a couple that I thought were too good not to share.

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Ok, let me start by saying that a trampoline room sounds AMAZING. I’m not sure how conducive it would be to writing persuasive essays or holding literature circles, but yes, yes and yes. As to questions two and three, I did teach science for 2/3 of a school year, and I like to think I was good at it. Gym, though? Don’t be crazy. Lastly, I agree. I should spend more time on vacations. I’ve notified the school board and told them so.

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Here’s a perfect example of how sixth graders very frequently take figurative questions literally. I’m a little freaked out by this student’s feet growing larger than the rest of his/her body, though. I’m imagining clown shoes.

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Like I said, these surveys were anonymous, but I told them they could put their names on the papers if they wanted to. Honestly, I’m just impressed that there was a 12-year-old at my school who knew who Bob Saget was.

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I can’t help but think that there’s a cause and effect relationship happening here. Perhaps the reason this student got so good at “getting yelled at” is because of his/her affinity for sleep? Just saying…

I’d like to thank the students who wrote these responses. While I would have appreciated actual useful feedback, a good laugh is always an acceptable second choice.

 

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