Monday, June 18, 2012

Advice for the Teacher

At the end of the year I always ask my students to evaluate me.  I like to do this to both help my students feel empowered AND to improve my teaching.  Since I am teaching children in kinder and first grade, I make the evaluations simple.  This year there were five questions:

1.            What was one thing you liked about kindergarten / first grade?
2.           What is one thing you would change about kindergarten / first grade?
3.           What was one thing you liked about being in a combination class?
4.           What is one thing you did not like about being in a combination 
5.           What advice do you have for Mrs. Johnson for next year?  You should _________________________________.

So when I asked for advice in question #5, I really meant advice about my teaching.  But this year's kiddos decided to give me quite interesting advice.   In fact, most of the students wrote almost exactly the same answer for number five.  How could that be?  Well, one student thought of an idea, whispered it to another and that answer spread all around the room.  That piece of advice?  Give your students ice cream on the last day.  Alas, my students filled out the evaluations on the last day of school so I had no time to fulfill their wish, even if I wanted to.

There were a few rebels who chose to think of their own advice for me.

One boy decided that ice cream on the last day was not enough.  His advice:

You should give us food!  (Hmmm ... I guess the goldfish at recess was not enough.)  

Then there was the girl who must have seen me driving to school.  Her advice:  

You should get a new car.  (So much easier said than done!).  

Actually, I did get a few words of wisdom for next year:
No promises, but I will try!

And just in case that was too general, one boy gave me very specific advice:
Yes, in case you are wondering, we did sing "Four Hugs a Day" at our graduation.

And then there was the advice that made me cry.  One sweetie wrote:
You should remember me.  (This came from a dear, sweet girl that spent the last month of school leaving me love notes in unusual places and then watched for my smile when I found them.  Forget her?  Not likely!)

Actually, this year, like every year, I will remember them all.  Sigh.  I do believe teaching is one of the toughest jobs in the world.  BUT it is also the job where you get to shower others with love and receive even more back.  We are so very, very lucky, aren't we?

Love to all,

P.S.  I am not sure why Blogger is making these crazy indents, but as we know, Blogger has a mind of its own at times!


  1. What a wonderful idea! Our students are probably the most qualified to give us some good pointers about our teaching! I wish I had given my students a survey like this before school was out. Actually, I remember years ago when I was teaching 1st grade and looking to change up some things with my literacy centers, I did give my students a survey about which centers they liked the most and which they liked the least and so on-it was VERY interesting to read their insights-I should probably do that again!
    Keen on Kindergarten

  2. Ha ha! I LOVE those tips. Thanks for sharing.
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

  3. Such cute responses! They are very honest! :)


  4. I love their advice. I had to laugh at the one about getting a new car. LOL!!!