I made it to the end of my first year of teaching! Phew! There were lots of stressful moments and a few tears, but mostly the year was filled with amazing moments engaging with students on both a personal and an academic level.
I’ve taken a break from the world of teaching for the first few weeks of my holidays – no planning, no blogging, no twitter. But this week I need to start gearing up for the new year – and what better way to start than by looking back at last year.
Inspired by a number of bog posts I’ve read (including Tom DeRosa’s end of year student surveys) I decided to create my own survey to have students fill out in the last week of school. I wanted to get feedback from the people who matter most to me – my students.
This is what I came up with: End of year student survey
Handing them out, I was the most nervous I’ve been since my first week of teaching. I prefaced the survey by telling them that one of the best ways for me to improve as a teacher is to ask for their feedback on what I’m doing well and what I could be doing better. The survey was anonymous to encourage everyone to be honest.
Waiting for all the surveys to be handed in felt like the longest 15 minutes of my life, but the feedback was overwhelmingly positive!
In the first column, the only negative feedback I received was to the statement “Miss Davis knows me well” – with 4 students disagreeing. I’m ok with that. As much as I would love to know all of my students really well, it’s not always going to be possible when I’m teaching over 100 students.
A lot of the more negative responses to the rest of the survey were tied into personal learning styles – some students wrote that I assigned too much homework, while others responded that assigning more homework would help them do better.
Other comments related to aspects of my teaching that I’m aware that I need to improve, but I haven’t quite figured out a system that works for me yet – like checking homework more often and providing feedback more regularly.
Some of my favourite responses to a few of the questions:
If you found out that your friend/family member was going to be in Miss Davis’ class next year, what would you tell him/her?
“Miss Davis is an excellent teacher… she makes you challenge yourself”
“Go to class willing to learn, because if you do you will learn heaps”
“You’re in a great class and you have a great opportunity to do well and learn lots”
“She is a good teacher that works hard for the students”
“Get your homework done because it just keeps building up!”
“The homework is all important even if it doesn’t seem so. It helps A LOT when it comes to test time”
I hate it when Miss Davis says…
“The homework is due tomorrow”
“You have a test in two weeks”
One thing Miss Davis should do more often is…
“Hand out lollies”
“Sing Ricky Martin”
What is the one thing you will remember most about this class?
“The easy-to-follow lessons”
“All the help provided”
“Helpful Keynotes and a friendly teacher”
“The 90 minute sessions that seemed like they never ended”
“Miss would sit down and help one of us if we didn’t quite get it”
Anything else you would like to tell me?
“Please take our class next year”
“You are very supportive through school work and personal problems”
“You are a really nice teacher and you have a visible passion for mathematics”