Wednesday, June 28, 2017

End of Year Reflecting

As the school year winds down, many of us take some time to think about how it went. When I was in the classroom, I often asked myself what I would do differently, what I would continue doing, and where I felt like I needed to explore a little more to improve and build my skills.

One tool I used year after year was a student survey. These surveys varied from year to year depending on the courses I was teaching and my group of students. 

When surveying students, I asked them to keep it honest, but in feedback form. It was ok to say they didn't enjoy something--that kind of feedback was important to me, but also to say why they didn't enjoy it, and how could they have enjoyed it; and, conversely, important that they say why they did enjoy something. I also emphasized how much their opinions mattered to me as they are my clientele.

I generally broke my survey into four parts regarding activities, assignments, structure of class, teacher's style, etc: 1) What did you love? 2) What did you hate? 3) What should I keep for next year? 4) What should I eliminate for next year?

It always amazed me the open, thoughtful responses I received from students. Interestingly, some things they hated, they thought I should keep, often for similar reasons, such as "it forced me out of my comfort zone" or "I had to really think on that one". Some responses are funny, too, like "I hated "x" but think you should keep it because my sister will have you next year and I want her to be tortured!!!"

I read through every survey, and while I was reading, I compiled a list by question. This helped guide my planning for the next year.