It is report card time again.
I give one to each of my students and my students give one to me.
I started this earlier this year and I did very well in the first quarter.
My students tell me that in some ways I improved as the year went on. In other ways I did not.
As in the past, I let each student decide what criteria was important to them and how they would grade me. I do this so I don’t impose my idea of what is important on them.
On my first report card I got very favorable grades. This time the students were more discerning.
“We always learn something in class (Progress: 75%) but you need to be more tough (Discipline 40%) Overall grade: 65,” wrote one boy.
“You as a person: A+. You as a teacher: C-. Surprise tests are never a good idea,” a girl explained.
But another student wrote, “You always prepared us for tests, you always spent extra time with me when I didn’t understand something.”
Two students said I get out of control sometimes, and two others asked how I manage to keep myself under control all the time (deep breathing I learned in yoga class).
Many students offered suggestions for how I could improve:
speak more clearly.
explain more, even when we don’t ask questions.
give more work.
be a tougher disciplinarian.
control the class better.
get a different job.
Other students appreciated that I:
gave choices about assignments.
assigned a lot of projects.
played music and served food from the countries we studied.
am open to criticism.
don’t hold grudges.
Only two people shouted out “OH, NO!”
Three girls hugged me. Two boys hugged me.
When report cards are what you seek you see they come in all forms.
One troubled boy tried to throw a chair at me.
Another boy stopped him.
In my mind, that’s a B- average.
Lots of room for improvement, indeed.