I have really disliked evaluations.
In my first career they were done once a year, and I usually fared just fine in them.
Consider this example from February 2011, my last few months on the job. I scored lowest as “satisfactory” for my reliability. In every other category of work I scored “very good” with comments like this.
And at the best I was ranked as outstanding with this comment…
Certainly the introspective me would have issues with being told I’m “outstanding” with dealing with other people. After all, I felt like punching the guy in the throat that butted in front of me to board a plane a day ago.
But let’s ramp it up. Let’s turn it to 11.
Now all students evaluate me, as a teacher, twice a year. This is enough to make me imagine my 9th grade CAD drawing teacher’s handlebar moustache twitch uncontrollably. But I feel like I’m in comfortable company. After six months on the job above I asked all my employees to evaluate me. I met with the employee that gave me the worst marks to see where she was coming from.
I remember like it was yesterday. Athena was a lifeguard and gave me some poor marks. In the comments she said I would never be as good a supervisor as my predecessor. She told me how the lady that worked the job for just six months before quitting had been at every early morning water aerobics class to greet participants. How she had also attended the evening gymnastics classes and chatted with parents.
I was dismayed. I couldn’t be at the pool at 6:30 in the morning and the gym at 6 in the evening and retain any semblance of the marriage that would later self destruct without even needing to have 12 + hour workdays.
Here are some of the statistically relevant results from my student feedback…
Here is a baseline. Plenty of strongly agree and agree with a few does not apply.
To this I compared many of my results. I assume that students will rate me as either Agree or Strongly Agree with a few Does Not Apply. As a PE teacher, the generic nature of the questions is that they don’t favor subjects like mine. Questions where more than one person deviated from this (more than one person disagreed or strongly disagreed) are below.
Before listing them I feel it is important to realize that this semester I am teaching two sections of Health, a PE1 for grade 9 students, Racquet and Batting Sports, and Adventure Activities.
- I am encouraged to continually improve, revise or refine my work.
I agree that it seems that there may not be opportunities to revise work. In most of my classes there isn’t much for opportunities to re-do a performance based assessment. I’m thinking of how to go about this practically.
- I use a variety of materials and resources (e.g. books, simulations, digital media, computer, internet, word processing, spreadsheet) for my learning.
This is entirely applicable (and I feel I do it well) in my Health classes. But most of the other classes use these infrequently if ever. I don’t foresee this changing across all of my classes but some it might be beneficial to use a variety more often.
- I receive helpful feedback (written and verbal) from my teacher about my performance in this class.
I agree that providing better feedback would be a good improvement for my teaching. I’ve already made efforts to do so verbally or on assignments.
- In this class I have challenged myself to learn as much as I can.
I provide opportunities for students to challenge themselves. Some do not pursue the challenge. Can I do something to improve the adoption of harder work?
- I feel good about what I am learning in this class.
This one hurt. Though only a few students marked that they disagree, I still like to think that everyone is enjoying what they learn. I know there are some students that just don’t like PE so it could be that factor, or it could be students that are resentful that they have to take a health elective instead of PE.
- I am taught to organize ideas, information and experiences, and to apply them creatively.
Again, this seems one that might apply most to the health class and not so much to the more traditional PE classes. That said, I don’t teach those things even in health.
- My teacher helps me try to be successful in this class.
I’m most concerned by this one. Even just having two of my students say that I don’t try to help them be successful means I’m missing an opportunity. I will do a better job of reaching out to all students to seek their success.
- My teacher challenges me appropriately and motivates me to do my best work.
I feel like I don’t challenge the higher performing students — especially in the more physically active classes. If I have a student that was on the SAISA Badminton team in my Racquet and Batting Sports class then they will definitely be under-challenged in some of the units.
- My teacher uses Moodle consistently to post assignments and help support my learning.
Guilty as charged. Over the past year, Holly and I have been experimenting with the use of Google Classroom. I’ll write a separate blog post about that.
- My teacher keeps up with the Skyward gradebook so that I feel informed on my assignments and grades.
I’m also guilty of this. Since receiving the feedback I have made a greater effort to be more timely with my grade book. I also have started to put in the formative assessments with a simple check mark to indicate if students have completed the work. I need to figure out a good way to make this a habit — perhaps using time in the morning of each day to make sure my grade book is up to date.
- My teacher uses a variety of digital tools and resources to help me learn.
Yeah, I don’t use enough in my PE classes. I’ll say it again (I did during my interview for the job). Sometimes I feel like part of my job should be getting kids to disconnect from technology and interact with each other face to face.
I will try and sit down and collect the data from this and my previous student feedback to be able to see if there is any trend in the direction of my feedback. I feel like I have been improving as a teacher. I hope the data shows that.
Finally, I find extreme value in the things that students actually take the time to write. Here are some of those comments.
Describe ways that your teacher could help you more with your learning.
Come up a with a clear grading curriculum so students can know what they must do to get the best out of class.
I don’t think that using Google Classroom is helpful for us, as students. This is because we have to be organized in two different platforms, and that just increases confusion for us when we’re doing homework.
he could move faster because sometimes he talks about one thing for 20 mins which gets boring maybe not go into detail as we get the idea
What does your teacher do that helps you to learn best?
I think he really takes the time to teach every little thing there is to teach about the subject. I think that he teaches by doing and I believe that is the only way a teacher should teach, so I like that.
He makes the classes fun and very interactive with a lot of hands on activities which is engaging and helps me learn.
In everything we learn, he never fails to relate it to how we can use it in the future. He is incredibly understanding and kind to everybody. He empathizes with students and always makes sure we are comfortable in class. His teaching methods are extremely effective and he makes the class super fun and awesome. I LOVE THIS CLASS
Please add any other comments that would help your teacher provide better learning experiences for you.
You are and have been my favorite teacher in this school since 9th grade keep up the good work. I truly look up to you and respect/appreciate the person you are. Don’t change and let anyone tell you different!