Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Survey Says?

It’s the week before exams. 12 School days left.
Right now your students have one thing on their minds.

Grades, Grades, Grades.

Those “greedy” kids. They’re all about their OWN grades.

At this time of year, the kids are taking tons of tests and exams and trying to cram 10 months of work into the next two weeks to “make up” work (or even beg for extra credit) so they can pass your class.

What about the TEACHER’S grade?

Don’t you want feedback on how YOU-THE-TEACHER did this year too?

Give yourself your own teacher-version of end-of-year feedback.

Give your kids a survey about your class.

I say this every year, so I hope you’re ok with another annual reminder.

Survey. Your. Kids.

Make it anonymous. I promise that 95% of their feedback is useful. (There are a few goofballs in any class/crowd, I admit it). The kids really can tell you what no one else can about your class. They can actually help you with useful information, no matter how many times you caught them with their phones out this month or how many bathroom passes they asked for.

Their feedback is still helpful to you.

You don't have to share it with your administrator if you don't want to.

Make it paper-and-pencil or make it digital. Print it out or have them answer on their own paper.  Do it on an index card! Use the iPad lab or have the kids use their phones. The HOW is up to you.

The what  you ask is a little trickier. Here are a couple of thoughts...
  1. Ask a question, with a question mark. People are more honest with a question mark for  some reason.
  2. Ask them about pedagogy, environment, expectations, engagement, and support
    1. HOW well they learned in your class
    2. How kids behaved in the class
    3. How much encouragement they received in class
    4. How much the student participated
    5. How does this teacher help you
  3. Ask kids to rate how they felt about class activities, homework, projects, the subject of the course.
  4. Leave a few open-ended questions, like
    1. What was your favorite part of this class?
    2. What did I do to help you learn this year?
    3. What could I have done to help you learn more?
    4. What could YOU have done to help you do better?
Then, read their answers. I am a big fan of anonymity. Kids answer more honestly if they don’t put their names on it.

After you read their answers, jot down for yourself a few major takeaways. They can be trends, specific comment or answers unique to a specific class period or group.

Use their answers to reflect on your year and set some goals for next year.

One of the most reflective and honest and helpful things I did all year was to survey my students. Try to catch them before they disappear in an exam schedule craziness.

Try using one of these for inspiration. Then, make your own.

Questions, thoughts? As always, email me!

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