This year, try something new. Take advantage of those forms. Well, maybe first take one week to sit by the pool without letting students or school cross your mind. Then spend a few minutes transforming what your students wrote into a set of goals and plans for yourself.
In order for this to work, you need a GOOD format for student evaluations (and also an open mind). I think you will love this student evaluation sheet I developed. It is really open-ended and you will get such a variety of responses. Here is a sample of the structure:
- "When I got stuck or needed help, I tried to set up appointments with the teacher but usually ended up getting a tutor instead by the time the test was coming around. My teacher was usually too busy to help me during the times I was free." You can learn from this that the student needed you, but your availability for one-on-one help could be improved.
- "When I got stuck or needed help, I did not really do anything. My teacher did not know that I had more questions and kept going. You can see that this student is aware that they did not ask questions when they needed to. This student will hopefully learn from this self-evaluation, but you as the teacher can see that you have students who are hesitant to ask questions. Maybe you can re-think your lessons and add more formative assessments or try an exit ticket once in a while to see which students need help.
- "When I got stuck or needed help, I used the textbook and then asked the teacher. My teacher sometimes explained it well, but sometimes she did not really get what I was asking. She usually told me to look in my notebook and then ignored me, but I had already checked my notebook and was only asking because I needed help still." A response like this may help you re-think the way you tell students to reference their notes. Instead of saying "check your notebook," maybe in the future you can ask "Did you try your notebook yet?" This student is feeling that you have dismissed them or do not understand what they are asking.
Do this BEFORE July begins!! Make it a priority while the areas for improvement are still fresh in your mind. Then review your goals before you start the next school year.