Today the students got their yearbooks. Tomorrow they graduate. Wednesday the faculty checks out. Thursday I fly to Germany. It is a whirlwind of a week.
Last Friday, on our last official day of class, I had the students fill out some surveys for my class. Every year I tweak my class a little bit, and so I always ask the students for end of the year input. I ask them to rank the books they did in order of their favorite to least favorite (Least favorites for the seniors: Hamlet and Frankenstein. Least favorites for the juniors: The Crucible). I ask them to tell me what assignments they liked best, which ones they thought were a waste of time or busy work, etc. Then I ask for them to answer three additional questions: 1) What they liked best about the class 2) What they liked least about the class and 3) What they would say was the number one thing they learned in the class.
Of course, I got a lot of great responses- things that helped me to evaluate my teaching priorities and also helped to validate a lot of the things that I choose to teach. There are already things I know for sure I want to change next year as a result of their answers.
But of course, there's always the fair share of ridiculous answers. I tell ya- these gems are too great to keep to myself.
What do you like about this teacher?
+ She let us eat in class. (One of the most important qualities in a teacher, you know.)
+ She got a little crazy as she got more pregnant. It was hilarious. (Referring to how I called everyone in that class the wrong name the last month. Too many Emmas and Austins, people!)
+ She can be very understanding. Other times, not so much. (Ha!)
+ She never took my phone.
+ She's very wise and intelligent. I thought she always had something wise to say. (Yes, I paid that kid to say that.)
+ Mrs. Larsen is a pregnant freaking stud. (Can you a woman be a stud? How about a pregnant stud?!)
+ She made a boring subject a tad bit more interesting. (Well. What can I say...)
+ She is really outgoing and I like her energy. Especially for someone who is going to be having a baby- she is not angry all the time which is REALLY good. (Makes you wonder what kind of pregnant people this student has encountered...)
+ She really fit in with the students. But not by height though... (Is this a short joke?)
+ Usually when teachers get pregnant they turn into mean people. But you didn't. (Again, you gotta wonder...)
What things could have gone better?
+ Her understanding my feelings. (?!?... I'm not empathetic enough?)
+ The people that would play cards in class instead of listening and waste our time when the teacher had to stop teaching to tell them to put it away. (I understand your pain, student. This annoyed me too!)
+ I hated Death of a Salesman. Didn't learn anything from that book except for that Willy was suicidal.
What is the most important thing you learned in this class?
+ Mrs. Larsen is funny when she says b****. (I apologized to the class that day for being a b**** the day before. Hey, you gotta apologize when apologies are due!)
+ Honestly, I've learned nothing in English for years. (At least it's not just my class that he thinks is useless?)
+ That a seat change really changes your outlook. (Really? That's the most important thing you learned all year?!)
+Spelling and Puntuation. (Oh, the irony.)
+ Mrs. Larsen taught us to really try to use protection. (I honestly have no idea what this is referring to. I racked my brain, and nothing is coming... I've concluded that all it means is that students want to hear what they want to hear.)
+ That my handwriting sucks (?!?)
+ Don't bite the hand that feeds you. Mrs. Larsen is very generous and helpful until you burn her.
+ English. (They certainly don't win awards for their details.)
+ I used my phone every period and only got caught once. (Glad I could teach him something useful.)