Best Student Evaluation Ever

2 12 2011

The view from right here--gradebook & portfolios.

If you were hoping for humor, sorry to disappoint: I actually mean that.  I’m in the middle of reading through a great stack of these things, and so far I’ve been offered a lot of valuable, critical feedback  that I’m mulling over how to apply for next year. I asked for it, I’m glad to have it, but it also makes me a but glum–it’s good, hearing from the folks who depend on you to do your job well, what would make them feel better taken-care-of, better taught, better encouraged, better outfitted to succeed; it is, truly, always good to hear what you’re not doing well so you can aim to do better, but it never feels good. So finding this one in the stack was a welcome burst of sunshine, and I like to save those up to get me through my own teaching-blues rainy days.  The transcription (with a few commas added, because I can’t help myself):

End of Semester Reflection

In the beginning of the semester, I had an appreciation for writing but had never put in that much effort to things I would write. I enjoyed writing when it was something that interested me. I hate writing when my opinion is given to me in the assignment. I feel that most of my writing assignments in high school, up until my junior and senior year, had given me what my opinion should be. With that, I had never put an honest effort into a paper. When I first came to this class, I began to enjoy the writing. I could also clearly see how this class would help me.

I now feel like I have a much greater appreciation for writing. It can be incredibly powerful in all different ways. This class showed me that when you work hard on a writing you can be proud of your writing. I feel that I am now fully prepared to take classes that will require higher level writing. I know what I need to do, it is just a matter of doing it.

The greatest part of this class was the attitude that we are taking this to learn, not just to be graded. There were no assignments where I didn’t learn something, and no assignments that were clearly just assigned for a grade. If I were to make a change to this class it would be my effort put in outside of class. There really isn’t anything I can complain about that I wouldn’t relate to an issue that is my fault.

If my family asks what I learned in English class, I will tell them that I never knew I could be so professional when writing. It takes effort, but when I work hard with the things I learned, I am proud of my work.


There are still some things I want to change for next year, because his peers had some valid concerns, complaints, and observations about tools, fairness, the unintended effects of some assignments, and my approach to feedback, and I want to focus on improving in those areas next term. But it’s rewarding to know that what I was aiming for, at least for one of them, totally struck home.  And it’s especially rewarding to hear it from a student who’s not one of the ones getting easy-As on everything because this all comes naturally to him, or one of the ones who’s always at my desk asking questions and voicing complaints.  I tend to know when that crew is happy and when they’re not.  This is from one of the stealthy ones, who looks bright-eyed and attentive but never says much; it’s all the more comforting to know that the things I keep them busy doing make sense to (at least one of) the ones who don’t ever cheer or complain.




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