Sunday, June 14, 2015

Classroom Management: Using Questionnaires to Aid Your Teaching

In college I got to evaluate my professors every single semester in every single class.  Since I was fresh out of college when I began student teaching I brought that idea with me.  In fact, about half way through my student teaching stint I had each student write down anything they thought could be done better.  I also told them to soften the blow by telling me at least one thing they liked about me.  (I had one class that was incredibly stressful and I wasn't sure how they'd react.)

Now of course some students said "we read to much." "I don't like the homework."  However, several students mentioned that many times the definitions on their vocabulary tests were very different from the definitions in the classroom dictionaries or they didn't know which definition to focus on.  My cooperating teacher and I discussed this and realized, they'd proven they knew how to use dictionaries- we were more concerned with increasing their word knowledge so we gave them the definitions and other activities to do with the words instead of having them look them up.  Problem solved.

I came away from that experience realizing that sometimes there are easy fixes that can aid your class.  Since then I've done it in almost every single class I've taught.  I typically ask them a few weeks into the semester, half way through, and at the end.  I allow them to be anonymous, but truly I build it in such a way that no one is worried about me being offended.  I explain to them how and why I use the information and that I will consider any reasonable ideas.

Outside of being able to address issues a teacher may or may not be aware of, this strategy also allows a teacher to build a rapport with the class.  Students see that you care, that you're trying to improve the class, and they feel that they are heard.  It's definitely a win win win situation.

Check out my classroom questionnaires product on TPT for ready made, paper saving questionnaires to help you implement this easily and quickly!  It also includes a "get to know you" questionnaire for the first week of class that gives you a quick glance at the make up of your class.

 Don't forget if you'd like to join the TPT family Click Here!

Thanks for reading! 

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