I guess it is May. And you know what that means . . . yup, student evaluations. You know . . . having students evaluate you and your teaching over the last nine months.
I never really thought much about having my students complete evaluations during my first couple of years teaching. It was obvious, even to a rookie teacher, what needed to change. Plus, it just wasn’t done. I mean, who asks for the opinions of school children?
I would always spend time reflecting at the end of the year:
- What went well?
- What went wrong?
- Were my assessments valid?
- Did I handle classroom management issues effectively?
- What content should I add / eliminate for next year?
- Do I need to adjust my rubrics?
But it was only one point of reference. And we know how incomplete administrative evaluation can sometimes be. Some excellent mentors eventually convinced me that feedback from my customers would be a good idea, that a good student evaluation can help in my reflective process.
So I started talking more with my kids, both informally throughout the year and formally at the end. Questions about the classroom environment and arrangement, did I provide enough time for projects, how well did I respond to student questions, did I create a friendly learning climate, what strategies and activities worked best, what sort of communication works best, more or less technology and what they liked / disliked in general.
Students should feel free to put their name on the evaluation or complete it anonymously. And while you’ll need to take the information with a grain of salt. you also get some great feedback and insightful comments.
I’ve attached a quick sample. Feel free to adapt it for content and age levels.