Friday, December 13, 2013

Teacher Report Card Time!

It is that time of the year again. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season. The frantic search for the perfect gift (which is rarely in a store for me anymore). Also, it is the time of year for making sure you wrap up your chapter before break. We all know that the students will not remember a thing when they get back; might as well make sure you are starting on new material.

In addition, it is report card time. Time for the students to see where their learning currently is for their classes. It always surprises me that some honestly do not know what grade they have. They always act like they had no idea that lack of demonstrating understanding would result in a lower grade.

However, this time, I am changing things up. I am asking my students to complete an evaluation on me. That is right! I am asking them to complete a Google Form giving me an evaluation in several different areas. I came across this great idea in a book from @ToddWhitaker over the summer. I thought this would be a great opportunity to receive an honest evaluation from the students I interact with everyday.

Yes, I have received one from the administration through Danielson. Honestly, I looked at that for maybe 30 seconds. I checked to make sure I had either 3s or 4s checked off, signed it and put it away. I wanted something that carried more weight, in my opinion. I am going to my students to get feedback from them.

I put together a survey through Google Forms with the help of three people: @mssackstein @jsprfox and @WHSRowe. I am grateful for being able to bounce ideas off of these three great educators. I was able to get a better survey by taking their advice on word choice and/or survey structure.

I am anxious to see the results. I am anticipating positive "scores" in classroom environment. I believe that is a strong point of mine. The area I could score low in is "respect" because I tend to use sarcasm or jokes with the students instead of yelling at them. I never use the sarcasm to embarrass a student, or at least that is my intent. I do not know if it is perceived that way. Only time will tell if I am correct.

I am planning on completing this survey next week with my students. I will then sort through the data and share the conclusions in another blog. I have to be honest, I am more anxious about the feedback I get from this survey than any administrative observation. Here's to jumping into the deep end of the pool...I only hope I am prepared for what the results may show about me.

I can't change unless I know what needs to be changed. The feedback from my students should give me enough material!


Starr Sackstein said...

This is great Jim. Good for you for letting kids give you valuable feedback. We work so hard all the time to give kids the feedback we need, but we don't often elicit the the feedback we need from the most important clientele, our kids.
Bravo. Glad I could help out!

Jasper Fox Sr. said...

I applaud your risk taking in eliciting essential feedback from your students. I have found some of the most meaningful feedback that has shaped my philosophy has come from student surveys so I'm sure that you too will gain many deep insights into both the strengths and weaknesses of your practice. I was honored that I was able to assist you in any detail of your survey! I'm looking forward to hearing your reflection from the experience. Once again well done! Most teachers will never ask for the honest feedback as you have. Neither will they glimpse the growth that this reflection enables.