As part of a sub plan on April 15th, 2018, I assigned my students to give me a “Teacher Report Card” with about This is one of the suggestions offered in the book Classroom Chef by Matt Vaudrey and John Stevens. I have given a much smaller version of asking for feedback as an extra question on a Google form that I blogged about the year before last year given very close to the end of the school year.
I decided to ask for feedback from all my classes, 1 6th grade and 4 8th grade sections and to not modify it in hopes of adjusting it for next year. I took their advice and did it closer to the middle of the year. Maybe this upcoming year I will try it before winter break.
It’s a great time to be vulnerable, take a risk, and ask for feedback.
Teachers, give your students a Teacher Report Card: https://t.co/9vsWiy6d6u
Coach, TOSA, or Admin? Give your Ts a COACH Report Card: https://t.co/pAk6dpmzjZ
— Matt Vaudrey (@MrVaudrey) May 11, 2018
Here are my averages and results of 147 student submissions. To get averages on google sheets you can use something like: “=AVERAGE(P3:P145)”. I tried to sort these numerically but that resulted in some reference errors.
|4.04964539||…respects each student|
|3.65248227||… makes me feel important.|
|3.992907801||… tries to see the student’s point of view.|
|3.936170213||…encourages me to be responsible.|
|3.255319149||… has a great sense of humor.|
|3.871428571||… treats me as an individual.|
|3.807142857||… does a good job of treating all students the same.|
|3.857142857||…answers questions completely.|
|4.164285714||…says his words clearly.|
|4.164285714||… uses language that we can understand.|
|3.942857143||… explains topics clearly.|
|3.971631206||… tells us our learning goals.|
|3.45||… keeps the class under control without being too tough.|
|4.205673759||… seems to enjoy teaching.|
|3.814285714||… provides time for review of material.|
|2.165467626||…has bad breath.|
|4.171428571||…listens to our ideas.|
|4.064285714||…leads good class discussions.|
|3.822695035||… tries new teaching methods.|
|4.100719424||… gives good, fair assignments.|
|3.45||…has a good pace (not too fast or too slow).|
|3.624113475||… gives fair punishments.|
|4.120567376||…encourages different opinions.|
|3.721428571||…gives enough time for assignments.|
|3.382978723||…has interesting lessons.|
|4.100719424||…gives tests that reflect the material in the unit.|
|4.221428571||… dresses professionally.|
|4.276595745||…praises good work.|
My highest scores were praising good work and then dresses professionally (I wear a tie often). My lowest score was bad breath (throwaway / funny question) and then great sense of humor. I think this may have been low because my sixth grade class says my jokes make them cringe so I’m a “cringey” (sp?) teacher. Definitely disappointed that interesting lessons got a low rating. I suppose they may mean that when the routine is the same, it can be less interesting? I think that it could be more interesting if I get them standing at the whiteboards more often. I’m also not surprised that my next lowest rating was keeps a good pace (I feel that for some students I’m rushing, and others I’m going too slow, trying to find the happy medium). That was tied with keeps the class under control without being too tough. I think that as you’ll see from the feedback below, I tended to yell when I felt the class got too out of control, which is interpreted as being too tough, I think.
I mentioned in an earlier blog post that after this survey I really tried eliminating yelling at students or the class. This was especially prevalent in one particular period that was very challenging. I posted a blog post recently about student testimonials and many students appreciated that I read all of this feedback and took it to heart by stating that I wanted to pause before reacting with anger or raising my voice when I was frustrated. Myself and students were helped by us piloting a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum from a company called Second Step.
It teaches to reflect on what you value. When you feel an emotion like anger, pause, reflect about how you will respond that will show what you value. If I value kindness, then I will not yell. And, I came to the realization that the kids who I’m yelling at are winning because they are getting under my skin. The kids that are doing nothing wrong are losing because they don’t deserve to feel scared or feel fear in my classroom because of others. This is also something that I’ve taken into the parenting of my 3 year old because I am the role model and she will take cues from how I respond and respond the same way.
There were also these open response questions. I am going to put my comments in brackets  Bolded comments I am proud of.:
Sometimes, the teacher __________, but not always.
Sometimes, the teacher lets the class __________, but not always.
What do you like BEST about the class?
How does the teacher make you FEEL?
How can the class be improved?
Anything else you want to tell me?
Wow. That was a lot. I am surprised you made it this far. I think the first 2 questions seemed to be more open ended and felt a bit harsh towards me, but clearly some students feel I am harsh towards them. I want to be better. I want to be the best version of myself, and get better everyday. I’m never satisfied. The comments did get better towards the end I felt.
There’s a lot for me to chew on here.
- Classroom management. No yelling. And how to give more reinforcement to students who are making good choices.
- Pacing. Find the happy medium between too fast and too slow. I have a better idea about what lessons are going to be more challenging.
- Continue to work on variety of students participating. I want to track this with a class roster so I can encourage students who haven’t shared and check on their work more.
Also, I gave this Teacher Report card around Spring Break. Matt Vaudrey suggested I give it around right before winter break. I will try to do that this year. This idea was suggested in his book Classroom Chef. It’s scary to give this out. Also, students may or may not realize it’s anonymous because there’s no field for them to put their name in. As the survey says at the beginning, be honest. Our students know us best. They’re with us everyday. We need to listen to their feedback. And I’m going to #pushsend and share this with the world because I can look back on it later and see if I’ve made the choices to refine my craft.