In viewing Larry Ferlazzo’s post on How my ninth-grade students evaluated me this year, I found that at the end of the school year, he gives his students a survey to complete. This was not an ordinary survey. This survey was one that students used to evaluate him as a teacher and the course in general. I find this quite interesting. Right off the bat, I can tell that Mr. Ferlazzo is a teacher that wants to continue to learn and improve his classroom. If there is one thing that I have learned thus far in EDM310, is that teachers need to be students as well. By administering this survey, he is letting his students know that he is open for suggestion.
The survey is not very long. It consists of about 10 questions, ranging from questions like, “In this class I learned”, to “My least favorite unit was”. In doing this, he is able to better prepare for his upcoming school year. He takes this information and collaborates with fellow colleagues to see if they experienced the same views from their students. The funny thing is, he pretty much knew what his students were going to say. I think this is because of the type of students that he had in his class this past year. He stated that they had a higher intrinsic motivation, so he was not surprised by the results.
One thing that he did do was give the students a paper that they had written at the beginning of the year and asked them to compare it to one that they had written in May. He only does this on the last day of school. He gives them an “improvement rubric”. He has them fill this out and then he tells his students that he has misplaced the survey that they had previously filled out and asks them to fill it out again. He does this as his own “action research” project. I find this fascinating. He thinks that after the students have compared their two writings, they will rate themselves higher as to whether or not thier learning has improved.
When I looked at his follow-up post, Follw-up to how my ninth-grade students evaluated me this year, he stated that his assumptions were correct in that the students did rate themselves higher than the original survey. What a great idea! It’s amazing to see how the students perceived their improvement as not being very high until they compared their work.
He also added another question to the second survey asking if the students would want to take another course with him. All but two said that they would. I consider that a great compliment. I can only hope that one day I will have as much of an impact on my students as Mr. Ferlazzo has had on his. I enjoyed reading his Blog, and will continue to do so.