On the last day of classes this year, I gave my math students a brief questionnaire. It was a self-reflection for me, where I essentially asked them what they thought of me (especially since I was a first year teacher) and how they liked/disliked our class.
I told them I wouldn’t take a look at what they wrote until after they took their final exams and their semester grades were submitted. I kept my word. I didn’t read them until after the school year ended.
As I quickly learned, what I thought was an incentive for them to be brutally honest turned into an opportunity for a select few to amuse themselves…
Here’s an abbreviated collection of responses to my questions, spelling and grammar unchanged:
- Adolf Hitler
- I’m on it now.
Name at least three things you would change about this class:
- Bring food, bikini girls and beer
- No homework. No quizzes. No tests.
What did I do as a teacher that you liked? Disliked?
- Your a BAMF
- I thought you were pretty laid back and cool. No offence but you are a nerd/geek/loser. No offence.
- Made it seem like we weren’t learning a lot but we got through everything.
Your friends are taking this class with me next year… What will you tell them about it?
- I don’t have any friends 🙁
- I don’t know if I will be discussing math w/ friends…
- Your cool but trig blows
- Mr Mehta rocks! And he wrote a book but I forgot the name of it.
- Hes really weird but a good teacher
- Mr Mehta has no soul + he makes math kind of fun!
Were there any days/activities that stood out in your mind?
- [Referring to “Flatland: The Movie“] When we watched that trippy video about the living squares and hexagons and stuff
What should I do more of? What should I do less of?
- Less learning
Did you study for quizzes and tests? If so, for how long? (Please be honest)
- I honestly didn’t study at all. I do the HW but I did poorly on tests/quizzes.
- I never studied once (I never have for any class though)
Any other comments/concerns?
- Write another book: I Sold My Soul to My Math Class
- Black power. I’m down with Latinos too.
Next year, they’re *so* just ranking everything from 1 to 5.
(For what it’s worth, I did get a lot of genuine, worthwhile responses from most students.)
[tags]math, teaching, education[/tags]