Each year, we are asked to administer student surveys at the end of the year to get a student perspective on things that went well and areas for improvement in our teaching. This post is dedicated to my reflection on the results I received my classes:
What I am most proud of when reading my feedback forms is that students feel that I am invested in their progress and care on a personal level. Though they felt pushed in both of my classes, they seemed to feel well supported. That is my ultimate goal.
“I liked how my teacher was willing to work with me and push me to be the best student I could be.”
I also appreciate that they can sense my enthusiasm! I love math and the reason I became a teacher was to share the beauty I see in mathematics with my students.
“I liked how our teacher knew what she was teaching us and is very enthusiastic about the subject.”
Multiple students remarked that the flipped classroom made their homework load easier, which was a major reason I flipped my class originally. They also noted that the flipped classroom made it easier for them to ask questions. And many pointed out that they enjoyed the collaborative nature of problem solving in the flipped classroom. These comments all validate the ‘why’ behind my classroom format!
“I thought that the flipped classroom was an interesting and made the homework load easier.”
“I liked the flipped class room because it made the teacher always available and made it easier to ask questions.”
“This class was very engaging and fun. I liked the group collaboration and the control that you had while doing your classwork.”
Finally, students reported that I was always available and willing to help. Sometimes, when the day gets busy and my stress levels are a little higher, I really have to put extra effort into not letting any of that ‘show’ to my students. When they are in the room, whether it be during class or extra instruction, they come first! And I’m very pleased that this comes across.
I like how available she is after class for help on class work or help preparing for tests and quizzes… I come in after and she is so willing to help me learn more.
The area where I’d like to improve most is providing students with opportunities to make corrections to assessments while still keeping my grading fair and consistent. I need students to feel safe when earning one poor grade and give them the chance to redeem their overall class percentage. At the end of the trimester, I typically give students who have one outlier in their grade and have trended up throughout the marking period a chance to reweight the poor grade to more accurately reflect their overall progress. This is something I communicate to both student and parents. However, with Haiku and students’ grades constantly staring at them on login, waiting until the end of the trimester might not be the best tactic anymore and might be discouraging to a student. I revised my corrections policy for this year, giving students clear guidelines for the format of submissions and detail required. These corrections were a mandatory homework assignment and went into the homework section of their grade. Students didn’t see these as real correction opportunities based on their feedback. I get it — homework is graded differently than assessments and when students are looking at their grades in Haiku they might not realize the direct benefit of their corrections. Also, corrections were mandatory homework assignments so they did not help a student improve a poor assessment grade. I’ll rethink corrections for next year and include this in my 2015-16 goals: correction opportunities to emphasize process of reflection and revision. Perhaps I will require a more detailed reflection for students to earn points maximum points back, similar in style to what I did with the Socratic posts from this year.
More things to the gradebook so it is not just tests and homework. Tests count for too much of your grade.
Make it easier to improve test/quiz grades. For example, maybe more opportunities for corrections that improve your grade.
Another point that I will work on is making sure that students, particularly in Honors Algebra 2, are very clear that our introductory discussion is a direct review of the previous night’s video. Though this is really clear to me, as the teacher, perhaps it is not as clear to all students in the class. I say this because one Honors Algebra 2 student remarked:
I would have the teacher go over previous nights video in class.
I realize that only one student made this remark, but it is still something for me to bear in mind. To kickstart class, I take pieces of the video that the class struggled with (according to the quiz results that I get from the video), review that, and then we engage in a discussion into the video lesson and probe a bit deeper. To make the connection between the discussion and video clearer, I might display the (anonymous) quiz analytics on the projector at the beginning of class. This would allow me to more directly go from the quiz question in the video to the discussion that I have planned. And perhaps draw a stronger connection between video and class discussion.
To end my reflection, I will include a comment that I need to document for myself, on any rough or stressful day, to remind myself what teaching is all about:
“Ms. Roshan is an amazing teacher! This lady is so cool and awesome! In class she brings the perfect mix of fun and academic material. She is super nice and deeply cares for the success of the students. I can say without a lie that she is one of the best teachers in the school. I would choose Ms. Roshan as my math teacher any day. Her background in technology also makes it easy for her to innovate our classes.”
I am most proud that my students seem to really enjoy class. They acknowledge that class has been challenging and fast-paced, but their enthusiasm seems to remain high. Students seem to enjoy the classroom atmosphere and environment, which is something that I will work hard to maintain.