Yesterday, I shared how my mainstream ninth-grade English class evaluated me in their anonymous assessments. Today, it’s time to share what my Intermediate English students had to say.
Here’s a downloadable version of the form I have students complete. There’s also a version of it in my book on teaching English Language Learners.
Here’s what they said:
FAVORITE CLASS ACTIVITIES: Working in the computer lab, going on field trips, and playing learning games were all basically tied at the top, which is very similar to last year’s ratings.
LEAST FAVORITE CLASS ACTIVITIES: The three least-liked activities were reading at home, doing homework, and watching videos (we do it by using an activity called Back to the Screen that practices listening, speaking, and writing skills). Again, this is similar to last year — with one important exception. Writing essays was ranked low last year, but this year — while it wasn’t at the very top — it was near there. I think that speaks to a lot of the work my colleague, Katie Hull, and I put into crafting some very stimulating and engaging writing activities. She and I are also beginning to write a book together on teaching writing to English Language Learners.
ACTIVITIES WHERE STUDENTS FELT THEY LEARNED THE MOST: Students ranked practically all of the activities equally highly. As they did last year, it was interesting to note that the activities they ranked as liking least — reading at home, doing homework, and watching videos — were ranked at or near the top of ones where they felt they had learned the most. Writing essays was tied at the top, too.
ACTIVITIES WHERE STUDENTS FELT THEY LEARNED THE LEAST: For all practical purposes, students didn’t rank any activity low.
RATING MR. FERLAZZO AS A TEACHER:
I was ranked the highest for being friendly, getting to know students, being organized and prepared and working hard.
As they said last year, a small number said I should maintain better class discipline and that I talk too much.
All but three would be very happy if they had me as a teacher again.
PACE OF THE CLASS: Three-fourths of the students said the pace was “just right.” However, one-fourth said it was “too slow.” This was generally a higher-level Intermediate English class than I’ve had before, and this feedback suggests that I could have worked more on differentiating instruction for some of the more advanced students.
OTHER: Most of the class also added they had wished we had worked more on speaking English. Last year’s class said the same thing, and I had vowed to make that a higher priority. I had thought I had but, obviously, I need to rethink it again.
I feel pretty good about how this class went but, as I’ve mentioned already, I think I need to think more carefully about differentiating instruction for some of the more advanced learners (who might not be ready to move quite yet to our advanced ELL class) and about bringing in more speaking opportunities. I suspect my focus on refining how to teach writing distracted me from my vow to do more speaking. Now that Katie and I have a better handle on the craft of teaching writing, I think we’ll be able to be more intentional about incorporating speaking into our curriculum. Katie and I will be co-teaching the class next year.
Any feedback is welcome.
My third post in this series will be sharing how students in my International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge class evaluated me. I used a little bit of a different process with them…
For more information on how I incorporate student evaluations in my teaching, you might be interested in reading “My Best Posts On Students Evaluating Classes (And Teachers)”