This year (as every year), my students completed a Teacher Report Card and graded me.
As I promised, here are the data from my students. 70 middle school students gave me honest, anonymous feedback, and here it is.

Looking at numbers only, here are my four highest:

Seems to enjoy teachng 4.89
Tells us our learning goals 4.7
Tries new teaching methods 4.62
Grades fairly 4.53

And my four lowest:

Makes me feel important 3.55
Shows interest in students’ lives 3.6
Gives fair punishments 3.88
Has a good pace 3.88

I’m not gonna lie: those bottom four sting quite a bit. My degree isn’t in Math Ed, it’s in Youth Ministry and Adolescent Studies (math came afterward). It smarts that my lowest grades came from “pastoral” student interactions.

But my high grades are good “teacher” marks, so that’s good, right?

Hurrah for me.

Given that I teach adolescents, I have to keep in mind how their heads work (see here and here).

Every year when I give this survey, I take the “fair punishments” question with a grain of salt. Part of teaching adolescents means that emotional memories will burn into their developing minds (i.e. When Mr. Vaudrey listened to me talk about my parents), while memories without an emotional connection will be forgotten (i.e. Simplifying Rational Expressions).

I haven’t yet tried attaching the powerful emotion to boring lessons, but I’m not optimistic that it would work.

"You'll learn about these Rational Expressions when I slap you in the mouth! Huh? Wanna try me?"

“You’ll learn to add fractions when I slap you in the mouth! Huh? Wanna try me?”

But back to the survey.

Every year, one or two students will try and stick it to me for that one time that they got detention for chewing gum in class twice.

Here are some responses that made me think:

How can the class be improved?

If [student name] got kicked out

By not letting the class run all over him

Talk to each student to make sure they understand the lesson because sometimes there shy or emberassed

Get to the stuff you say you will get to

He sometimes ignores me.(Even if i raise my hand). He always call on the same smart people and i feel as if i’m not needed.

Oooo, that smarts.

As you can see, there are pockets of brilliant insight in the survey (which is mostly text-speak).

Much like Steph Reilly‘s class, the tension between “managing the class” and “interesting lessons” is a valid one. Few students have classes where we can argue about things, and many students are uncomfortable with noisy learning.

For that matter, so are many teachers.

In closing, here are some student comments that reflect why I love to teach this age group:

What do you like best about the class?

I can talk to girls in class when I’m done with my work

how everybody treats eachother

I like that the class is fun. Everyday some how you make it fun! Haha (:

What I like best is that , the class is a good vibe everyday . It doesn’t feel like I’m in school when I’m in class. But above all , I like the lessons.

Your young and swagerific

What I like best about this class is that there’s not alot of pressure to have the correct answer, it’s okay to be wrong once in a while,

Yes! Huzzah!

Your friend tells you that they have Mr. Vaudrey next year. What do you tell them?

That’s bad because your apost to be in high school not 8th grade

It will be fun just don’t talk bad about lord of the rings because he likes the book.

You’ll have a lot of fun and he’s a bit of a Wack job

Anything else you want to tell me?


Like I said, a grain of salt.

Happy summer, everybody.

~Matt “totes fun” Vaudrey

P.S. If you’d like a paper version, click here.