∆ Jackson

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Oct 25 2012

Parent Teacher Conferences and Student Surveys.

First.  Parent teacher conferences.  To quote one teacher in my hall, “It’s like Christmas!”

Seriously, though.  You should be required to meet your student’s teachers before your child is allowed to attend school.  It’s such a breath of fresh air to hear that, yes, of course this student’s mother/father/auntie/grandmother/etc want him/her to do well!  And of course they will start looking over their notebook and homework every night.  And here is a phone number and email and please contact them anytime anywhere for anything to help their student.  It’s not that I didn’t know all this before, it’s just that when a student sits in your class with their head down and refuses to do work, take notes, take an exam, etc, it is hard to remember that that does not identify them.  They are more than a head down on their desk and not only do they have hopes and dreams, but their parents have hopes and dreams for them too and I am glad I have parent teacher conferences to remind me of that.  I can go home with a new hope and refreshed passion to help my kids succeed.

I have not met one parent that was not kind to me, understanding, and asking me what they can do to help their student do better.  It’s encouraging.  And I look forward to using this big new stack of phone number that I have here next to me.   : )

And…Student Surveys!

My MTLD requested that we all ask our students to respond to five statements, gauging how students feel in our classes.  I made up a little survey for them to take at the beginning of class this past week.  They were to rate each statement either: Always, Usually, Sometimes, Every once and a while, or Never and then to explain why they had chosen that.

Below is each statement and some of my favorite responses.  Some of them are sweet, some are funny, and some are sad but true.  But all of them gave me some kind of happiness or encouragement or just made me shake my head and begin an action plan on how to fix it.  Enjoy!

Students in this class treat the teacher with respect.

Sometimes | Because some students talk back and disrespect the teacher.

Usually/Sometimes | Because they sometimes talk when she is talking.

Always | Because you have to give respect to get respect so if you want your teachers to respect you you got to respect them.

Sometimes | I said sometimes because sometimes students get out of hand and make the teacher yell.

Sometimes | Because sometimes it is hard when their [SIC] yelling all in your face.

Always | Because you are an nice person don’t nobody really say much in here.

Usually/Sometimes | Because every student have their day.

Usually/Sometimes | Because some people call you bad names.

Usually/Sometimes | They always talk and interrupt, sometimes walk out and act out.

Usually/Sometimes | Because the kids talk too much and she says be quiet but we keep talking.

Always | Because she is a grown-up.  (yes, ladies and gentleman, I am officially a grown-up.)

My classmates behave the way my teacher wants them to.

Usually/Sometimes | We participate in class almost everyday and some day you push us too much and it don’t be enough to satisfy you.

Never | No, my classmates behave the way they want to and do things when they feel like it.

Sometimes | They are very disrespectful.

Sometimes | I said sometimes because we don’t suppose to eat but we do anyway but most of the time we do the right thing.

Never | Because they always have to be tuff [SIC]

Every once and a while | I think our classmates wanta [SIC] talk with their peers, but school is not a socializement, it’s a work place to learn.

Never | Because when you say be quiet they still be talking.

Every once and a while | They feel like being rebels.

Our class stays busy and doesn’t waste time.

Always | We work from bell to bell and it gets bored.

Never | The class is always busy, but my classmates waste a lot of time complaining and being lazy.

Usually/Sometimes | Because some students be talking and that might make the teacher stop teaching.

Always | We are always doing work no matter what goes on.

Always | Because you are a well organize teacher, you have everything plan of what we going to be doing today.

Always | Because we have work on top of work.

Every once and a while | The class is childish.

Every once and a while | We do waste time by talking.

In this class, we learn a lot almost every day.

Always | We have a new lesson to go over every time we come to her.

Always | Because we go over a lot in class from the beginning to the end of class.

Always | I learn new things every day.

Usually/Sometimes | Maybe because I sleep during class too often.

Always | Because you teach where we can understand.

Always | Because she is a very good teacher.  (note that this student gives me a LOT of behavioral issues, so it meant a lot to hear him say that)

Usually/Sometimes | Sometimes we need a little more explaining.

Usually | We usually do when we don’t have people talking.

Always | You stay teaching us and I love how you teach.

In this class, we learn to correct our mistakes.

Always | You learn from you mistakes.

Always | Because when we make a mistake we always go and make it right.

Always | I said always because we have to learn to correct our mistakes.

Every once and a while | I hardly make mistakes.

Always | Because you tell us what we did wrong and its our job to correct them or not.

Always | Because she will take your folder when you do something wrong and tell you what you did so you want [SIC] do in [SIC] no more.

Always | I really love how we correct our mistakes on our test.  It show us how we make little mistakes.

Always | Ms Keefer always say everybody makes mistakes.


Which response was YOUR favorite?!  Leave a comment and let me know : )

5 Responses

  1. Cioci Amy

    I have three favorites:
    “Always | Because you teach where we can understand.”
    You are responsive to the needs of your students and you are making the subject accessible to them!

    “Always | Because you are a well organize teacher, you have everything plan of what we going to be doing today.”
    This student recognizes that you care enough to take the time to carefully plan the lessons in advance, and they appreciate it.

    “Always | Because we have work on top of work”
    I like this one because it is so poetic! It reminds me of the picture book “Snow On Snow On Snow” which starts out “Once upon a winter’s day/I woke up/under blankets under blankets under blankets.”

  2. Mom

    I’m with Grandmom. Seems like lots of kids recognize that talking is inapprpriate so I think you are getting that message through even if it’s still going on. Hang in there; it’s sinking in. My real favorites- work on top of work (the way it should be)— and “Ms Keefer always say everybody makes mistakes.”

  3. Grandmom

    “Because theysometimes tak when she is talking” This appers more than once which shows that some students in the class are aware of the fact tht this is unfair to the teacher and th students.
    Great Job Ronnie

  4. SaraS

    “Always | You stay teaching us and I love how you teach”

    I would love to hug the kid who said this about you :) I can only wish I had been so lucky to have Ms. Keefer as a teacher <3

  5. Emma

    I love how you’re teaching them to embrace their mistakes as a learning opportunity. That will always serve them well, whether or not physics is central to their future lives.

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