My Students Reflect on Their Year in My Math Class, Part 2 June 14, 2009

My Students Reflect on Their Year in My Math Class, Part 2

Just as I did last year, I gave my math students (mostly sophomores, some seniors) a brief questionnaire at the end of the year. It’s a self-reflection where I gauge what they thought of my class and me as a teacher. I promised them I wouldn’t read their responses until after final grades were submitted.

Let’s see what this year’s more entertaining responses say (spelling and grammar is unchanged):

Name (optional):

  • Alec Baldwin
  • Drew Peterson

Did you look forward to coming to this class each day? Why or why not?:

  • No, because listening to each stupid, idiotic person in this class drained & lowered my IQ by 20 points every single day.

Name at least three things you would change about this class:

  • No. Logs. Ever.
  • Have lights off all the time [Umm… I don’t know where the student’s going with this one…]
  • Occasionally have Mehta eat a bug.

What did I do as a teacher that you liked? Disliked?

  • You made fun of me! [I’m not sure if that’s under “likes” or “dislikes”…]
  • I disliked the way you said “figure
  • Don’t say “So here’s the idea” (so annoying)
  • I hate the way you say figure

Your friends are taking this class with me next year… What will you tell them about it?

  • I hate freshman
  • Don’t annoy the teacher because he’s weird.
  • Wear a He-Man shirt on the first day of class
  • Have fun… he shows you nerdy internet things
  • Bug him, carry on the legacy.
  • Your screwed!

Were there any days/activities that stood out in your mind?

  • The day we started logs = WORST DAY OF MY LIFE!

What should I do more of? What should I do less of?

  • Wear different shoes
  • Get an easier to say name
  • You should sing and dance more, sort of like a broadway show, only it’s all about Geometry
  • Speak Spanish. Be mean on Fridays.

Did you look forward to this class each day? Why or why not?:

  • Yes. To make fun of [another student].
  • No. [Another student] would hit me with a pillow case full of bars of soap if I asked questions.

Did you feel comfortable coming to me for help?:

  • Sometimes. Sometimes you ignored me and was like… ask your friends, but there stupid.

Did you study for quizzes and tests? If so, for how long? (Please be honest)

  • Yes dear god & it did nothing

Homework: Too easy or too hard? Too much or too little?:

  • I dunno — never did any of it 🙂
  • Purple

Any other comments/concerns?:

  • I really liked you as a teacher & you took way too much shit from people in this class. [It’s true. I did. Never again…]
  • EAT A BUFFALO BURGER. It’s good…
  • Eat some meat and the lady math teachers will be all up on you
  • Next year grow dredlocks and pretend your Jamaican for the new sophmores for the first week.

Next year, I must not allow for anonymity…

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • your students made me laugh and want to become a teacher too despit I may not be the best person to teach.

  • I like that last suggestion, mon. ^____^

  • now i am curious how you say “figure”.

  • sing and dance more, eh? My Fair Lady meets Geometry? hahaha

    Your students are *funny*. I’d like to be a fly on the wall in your class… 🙂

  • Don’t try buffalo burgers. Your student only wants to kill you. (It will be a happy death, but still.)

  • potatopeeler

    You must be teaching logs wrong. That’s the easiest unit!

  • Hemant, please post an audio file of you saying “figure” and a picture of your shoes. 🙂

    For logs, get them to make a scale model of the solar system. Allow them to do it either in a linear scale or a log scale. They might start to appreciate logs then.

  • John


  • Chal

    You should sing and dance more, sort of like a broadway show, only it’s all about Geometry

    Best suggestion ever! 😛

    These two comics might help with logs.

  • b

    Students and teachers’ clothes… Do we go into the store they work at and comment on how they wear khakis and a polo shirt every day?

  • If you don’t allow for anonymity you won’t have any fun. 🙂 And we won’t get to read anything fun at the end of the next school year.

    I guess it depends on how useful you want these to be. Ain’t teachin’ FUN? lol

  • Nick Awesomeson

    I too require that you post a video of you saying figure and showing off your shows.

  • anonymouse

    it’s funny how the meat “suggestions” and critiques don’t get any more mature, even when dealing with 30-year-olds.

  • You have nicely illustrated why I stopped asking for that sort of feedback from students, at least in survey form, although the responses you received are definitely more humorous than those I used to have returned.

  • Epistaxis

    No. Logs. Ever.

    Oh, I heartily disagree. Logarithms are very useful to turn big muliplicative expressions (like pretty much anything in probability) into neat little additions and subtractions. Someday when this kid is a scientist, engineer, or mathematician, he’ll be grateful…

  • Jen

    I have always wanted to meet Alec Baldwin!

  • «bønez_brigade»

    No, because listening to each stupid, idiotic person in this class drained & lowered my IQ by 20 points every single day.

    Being generous and assuming the kid starts off with an IQ of 100, after 180 school days [the U.S. avg/req] of losing 20 IQ pts/day, said kid would have an IQ of -3500. So, methinks that either his classroom neighbors are really stupid/idiotic, or this must not be a basic math class (or he was just doing it for the lulz, of course).

    BTW, Hemant, in addition to the math, please teach them the proper usage of your/you’re and their/they’re/there. The average intelligence of college students is already poor enough without those young punks.

  • Gabriel

    You sound like the type of teacher that gets movies made about him. Oh by the way buffalo bugers are incredibly delicous. And out of curiousity, why are you a vegitarian? Is it a left over from your Janist upbringing?

  • Sarah

    I also wonder how you say figure now. If it makes you feel better, I’m terrible at math, but would happily take it for the chance to have you as a teacher. Also,

    “No. [Another student] would hit me with a pillow case full of bars of soap if I asked questions.”

    How in the world did this go unnoticed? Unless, of course, it was an afterschool deal.

  • Chal,

    Nice comic links about logs!

  • Sean Monahan

    Seriously, how much money would we need to pay you (or donate to charity) to make the dreadlocks happen?

  • How….useful.

  • Don’t feel too bad about the clothes. My husband is a math professor in Italy. His anonymous reviews have included: “Should change his sweater more often” and “Should not wear that sweater that looks like the markings on the blackboard” (both true, actually). Maybe I should worry about whoever said “He’s not only a good teacher, he’s hot!”

  • Eliza

    Not that I don’t want to hear Hemant say “figure” – but, if you follow the link in the first student comment in the OP about how Hemant says figure, you’ll learn that he says he says it “figger”, not “figyur”.

    I had a biology teacher (from Greece) who always said “skel-EE-tul” (instead of “SKEL-eh-tul”). Drove me crazy. (Figger-atively speaking, that is.)

  • atomjack

    That comic of the universe isn’t safe for a teacher to present in a classroom, the kids knowing the words notwithstanding. Funny, though.

    Hemant, just a little pointer. I taught at a private school for a couple of years where the kids ATE Math and English teachers. Until me, for Math, anyway. I also run gun ranges, and if you look in the dictionary under “Martinet”, you will find my picture, complete with campaign hat (think Marine Corps). J/K, but a firm hand is necessary. One thing I discovered is that if a student in the class has an older sibling who knows a particular topic is important, try to mine that information before you get to the topic. I had to drag those kids through functions like I was dragging a boat anchor uphill, into the wind. But one of the girls said “My brother says logarithms are very important in his line of work”, and WHAM, the kids soaked it up. They were sandbagging on me before that! This particular class did not have a strong feel for personal achievement, and it was a tough year.

  • 42!

  • I kind of love your students.

    And I think your students must kind of love you.

  • cathy

    My mother says figure the same way. I had a professor who pronounced Kant “kunt” and that was pretty hilarious.

  • Brooke

    I’m with «bønez_brigade». Please teach your students: “you’re not going to get that job if your grammar stinks on your resume!”

    My cousin-in-law just graduated from high school, and on the top of his graduation party invite in big bold letters are the words “Your Invited.” What a way to let everyone know you should have failed English.

  • So… did you get any useful reviews? I think you should continue with the anonymous questionaires… it’s the only way to get honest answers…

    That is, of course, assuming you did get some useful ones, if not, there’s no point I guess

  • So… did you get any useful reviews? I think you should continue with the anonymous questionaires… it’s the only way to get honest answers…

    I did get plenty of useful reviews 🙂 Which is why I do it. They’re just not as funny…

  • Great post! So entertaining…

  • Gabriel

    There is a book in these. Keep them and after a few years you will have enough funny ones to publish.

  • JSug

    I think you should start your first day of class in the fall by reading the following statement:

    “I am Mr. Mehta, but you can call me Bob. I hope you like my new shoes [at this point do a little dance to show them off], but if you don’t I promise not to make fun of you. So, here’s the idea: I want to teach you about math. But first, I should warn you that listening to your peers too much may coincide with a reduction of your IQ, which will gradually approach zero at a logarithmic rate, as illustrated in this figure.”

  • Mathew Wilder

    Wicked funny. Share more!

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