Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay


As we all know, we teachers need to be very sensitive to the SEL needs of our students all the time, and even more so when many of us are working in a distance learning environment.

In addition to having about ten ten-minute individual meetings with students in video conferences each week (see “INDIVIDUAL MEETINGS” ARE THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF A SUCCESSFUL COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION & THEY CAN BE THE SAME IN A DISTANCE LEARNING CLASSROOM), I have all students complete a simple Google form where they rate how they’re feeling about school and their lives, if they are having any technical problems, and if they have any other concerns.  Of course, if you ask, you have to respond, but the extra time has clearly paid-off for everybody.

As regular readers know, I have been a fervent advocate of having students do anonymous evaluations of teachers and classes (not for formal evaluation purposes, though!).  I have always learned a lot from them, and usually do them at the end of each semester (see My Best Posts On Students Evaluating Classes (And Teachers)).

Then, today, I saw the new Edutopia video embedded below.


If I learned so much from student’s twice-a-year anonymous evaluations when I was teaching in an environment where I had taught for sixteen years, why didn’t I realize that I could benefit from doing similar evaluations far more often when I was teaching in an entirely alien environment?!?!

That was my realization after viewing the video, which suggests just that.

Their recommended questions are not earth-shaking (“Are my assignment clear?”).  But, really, that is the kind of basic feedback we all need – what’s clear in a physical classroom where I can be available immediately for any kind of needed clarification is a different kind of clarity than what is needed in a virtual classroom where students are in breakout rooms and I can’t be in all of them at the same time.

Watch the video and I suspect you’ll do what I’m doing – preparing a simple Google Form that students can spend one minute on tomorrow in order to give me feedback….