Friday, March 9, 2012

Teacher Evaluations

I've been waiting for something interesting to come through my email groups today so I can read and reflect but nothing has come through except opportunities to take webinars. I have my system of "to do" sticky notes on the table next to my laptop. Once of my sticky notes says "Admin Paperwork", which means I need to fill out my Teacher Evaluation Summary. It's made it to the top of the priority pile so I've been jotting down notes on it all day as things come to me so I can type it up later.

I was talking to one of my seniors who is a subject-level intern in one of my classes (it's a program we have at our school to encourage students to be mentors). I showed him the template we were given and said that I have a hard time evaluating myself. His response was "Why not just use that survey you asked us to take at the end of class last semester?"


We are not required to survey our students at the end of a course, but I have the technology in front of them and a free surveymonkey account. I use the surveys to improve my own teaching and methods. We're not required to do surveys at the end of a course. I remember how much I liked doing them at the end of my college courses because I felt I was adding to the quality of education. I wanted to do that for my courses as well.

I took screenshots of their responses and printed those out to attach to my evaluation worksheets. I also reread over their responses and realized that I have made many changes to my courses that are now working because of the student feedback that I received half-way through this year. I am now thinking I can include that improvement in my reflection section of my worksheet.

Keeping this blog is the beginning of an exercise in ongoing reflection, not just reflecting when you complete a unit or complete a semester. Seeing how much I learned from the student surveys today tells me that this is a good practice that I should continue this practice. Of course, like any tool, you can own it but if you don't use it, then nothing gets better.

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