Friday, March 18, 2011

What Students Want

I was administering an essay test which asked something like, write to your principal regarding how to improve school.
I received many of the usual things... "no uniforms", "tastier lunches", "nicer looking facilities", "cleaner bathrooms" as well as things I expected but not in the quantities received.

Students wanted more extra-curricular activities, and more clubs. They actually seemed to want to be part of the school culture! They complain in person about our long hours and "stupid school" but in reality they want our school to offer more, which would mean longer hours as well.

They want small class sizes, Luckily most of our classes are small, 20 and under. Therefore they may hate how our teachers are "strict" and "see everything we do or say" and "bug me too much" but they actually like that when they know their voice won't be heard by their peers.

They want teachers to treat everyone fairly and not put certain students on pedestals. They also don't want teachers who yell, are cruel to students, who pick on students, or who bring a cranky attitude to the workplace.

Last year we had what...80% of our staff not rehired as they were either not fully credentialed or were ineffective in the classroom. Those teachers met secretly with the students to have protests, disrupt class, call people derogatory terms in the board meetings, etc. This made for a hostile, chaotic environment where the students became friends with the soon-to-be-gone teachers and were vengeful towards all others.

And their essays many said that teachers should not be friends with students because they should be teachers.

I was expecting insight on lesson delivery, difficulty (or lack thereof) of lessons, over-testing, etc and to my surprise and disappointment I did not see that. However, what I did read was interesting and I think all teachers should do it, and allow students to be anonymous (as this essay did) so that their opinions could be heard but they would not be judged.

No comments:

Post a Comment