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Thursday, October 29, 2009

As student grades and report cards come upon us...

I set up a survey on for my students to evaluate my performance as their math teacher. It seems fair that they get to have a say in explaining their experiences in school. The survey was entirely anonymous and only took about 10 minutes for the whole class to fill out. I included spaces for comments. Later on I will post some of the more salient comments, but this is the initial results of the class according to the rating system I gave them:

The number rating stands for the following:
1 = rarely
2 = once in a while
3 = sometimes
4 = most of the time
5 = almost always

Glenn understands math and is prepared and organized when he teaches it.
87% rated this as a 4 or 5

Glenn listens to your point of view, even if he does not always agree with it.
60% rates this as a 4 or 5

Glenn tries to help you to speak up and be active in the class.
48% rates this as a 4 or 5

Glenn is flexible with your needs as a student (i.e. homework, schedules, classwork, groupings, extra help).
67% rate this as a 4 or 5

Glenn is wants to learn from students and change things to make them work better.
59% rate this as a 4 or 5

I have an overall positive impression of these statistics. When I separate out the 7th grades from the 8th grades, I find the 7th far more positive overall, but since there are only about 30 students at each level, there are may not be enough data to accurately say more, at least numerically (remember: I am the math teacher).

The statistic I am happiest with is the one on flexibility because it has been a professional goal of mine to help my students make good, reasonable and logical choices about how to meet their class requirements. I also don't believe that HOMEWORK should be used as a policing tool on kids and especially on their families, at least at the Middle School level.

The statistic I want to examine more closely is the participation one. There were many comments of students feeling left out or pressured to give correct answers when they don't have them. I want to address that perception, but need to consider the sources and collect further data on this one. I suspect that many math teachers can relate to students feeling this way.

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