As regular readers know, every semester I have my students do anonymous evaluations of the class and me and post the results here, as well as sharing them with my school colleagues.
Evaluations from students in my ELL English, ELL Geography and IB Theory of Knowledge classes were comparable to ones in the past, and I didn’t feel readers would benefit from my just repeating previous summaries. You can see all my past posts, as well as downloadable evaluation forms, at The Best Posts On Students Evaluating Classes (And Teachers).
I did find the one from my combination ELL U.S. and World History classes intriguing, though.
The vast majority of the results were almost identical to what students said last year (which is not surprising, since many are the same students). You can see that tabulation and all the questions at Here Are The Results Of Anonymous Class Evaluations From My English Language Learner History Class.
Three of the responses, however, were substantially different.
One of those three was in response to the question, “I did my best in this class (most of the time)(some of the time)(hardly ever). Whereas last year pretty much everybody – accurately, I think – put down “most of the time,” this year it was evenly divided between “most” and “some.” Those results are also, I think, quite accurate, and I have since had individual conversations (not castigating them, obviously, but, instead, reviewing their long-and-short-term goals and how having a better work ethic would help achieve them) with each of the students who I know are in the “some” category. It’s been two weeks since the end of the first semester, and, so far, at least, they have seem to have borne fruit. Even though I had planned to have those talks prior to receiving the anonymous evaluations, it gave them a little more power, I think, by my being able to ask them if they were ones who had listed “some” and learning that they all had, in fact, been those students (at least they said they were).
The other two responses related to the level of patience students felt I had and how much they felt I cared about their lives outside of class. Even though students had given me decent evaluations in both of those areas in the past, they had not been as high as in response to other questions. So, I had decided prior to this year that I was going to be more intentional in those areas, and ended up receiving higher “grades” from students in response to both of those questions.
Though I remain staunchly opposed to using student surveys as a part of formal teacher evaluations (as the Washington, D.C. school district announced this week they were starting to do), I do believe we teachers can learn from them…