I go back and forth on giving out class evaluations. Some kids phone it in and offer no valuable feedback; others use it as an opportunity to magnify every flaw I already know I have. But I did it anyway. Handed out a class evaluation to my media studies class–a group I thought for sure would yield slam-dunk rave reviews.
And the majority of the evaluations of both my teaching and the class content were positive.
But. There were some…
And I know that I’m not going to connect with EVERY student, and that I should focus on the kids who said my semester-long media studies class should be a year-long class, or the kids who took the class just because I teach it, or even the kid who said, “Ms. Rowse is a great teacher who has nice makeup. That is irrelevant to this class, but needed to be said.”
But I can’t get the negative comments out of my head–and I’m not sure I should. That’s part of reflection and feedback. I’m not perfect, despite the praise I receive from administrators, colleagues, and students. I can improve in a variety of areas.
Now, could the negative comments have been framed a little more nicely? Sure. But was the content valid? Absolutely.
It’s hard to admit that I’m not going to connect with every student who walks into my classroom. I really want to–I really, really do. For the students who felt alienated or disrespected or whatever, I sincerely hope that another teacher in the building made up for what I lacked.