Student Surveys as Part of Evaluation

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by KinderCowgirl, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jun 8, 2013

    I'm wondering if other elementary schools anywhere are implementing this plan. I was reading that a local district wants to make this 25% of a teacher's evaluation. Personally I don't understand it-especially for young kids. For high school maybe, but I think at any age a child's perception of what makes a "good" teacher is very skewed. For example-my most challenging student this year said to me yesterday that she wished I'd go work at another school because I'm so mean to her. Why am I mean? Because I give consequences for her behavior. That's her perception-I'm a bad teacher because I'm mean. I know even on a college level my sister struggles with having to defend herself when a student gives her a poor evaluation because they don't like the books she chose for their syllabus or there were too many papers required.:rolleyes:

    Does anyone else have this as part of their evaluation? What kind of questions do they ask the kids?
     
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  3. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    That is right out of the Michelle Rhee play book and I can't fathom how anyone could think this is a good idea. Even in Rhee's book, she admits that she asked kids about this and they, themselves, were concerned that some kids will score a teacher low if s/he makes the work too challenging. For goodness sake, I've had kids actually tell me that they were purposely going to fail the state test to "get a teacher fired."

    If students are evaluating teachers, I envision lots of fun Fridays, easy tests, missed deadline forgiveness, and threats that sound like: "If you don't stop giving so much homework, I'm going give you a low grade."
     
  4. TnKinder

    TnKinder Companion

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    We have this here, and it counts for 5% of our total evaluation score. Students have to be surveyed in a whole class setting, and in the primary grades the questions are read aloud and the students bubble in their answers. Here is an example:
    Do you agree with the statement
    When work is hard my teachers my teacher lets me quit.
    When I don't understand my teacher explains it to me
    Sometimes I get sleepy at school
    The answer choices are no maybe yes. these are questions from the kindergarten survey
     
  5. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    Very bizarre that whether the kid is sleepy affects the teacher's score.

    In general, the whole thing is a bad idea.

    Thinking to my college years with the end of course surveys we have to do for our profs, even I had a hard time being unbiased.
     
  6. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    How is the teacher at fault for a child being sleepy? If they are seriously using that as a hiring or firing justification it probably could be fought in court quite easily. Prove it was me who made the kid tired!
     
  7. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Isn't everything the teacher's fault? ;)

    I think the question is supposed to gauge whether the child is bored at school.
     
  8. TnKinder

    TnKinder Companion

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    Jerseygirlteach, that us exactly what the questions are doing. If the child is sleepy the teacher is not engaging. It has nothing to do with the fact that the kid was up all night. They are using the questions to gauge if teachers have good classroom management, if they are caring and compassionate. The 5% is not enough to put a teacher in a position to be fired, but it can be the reason why a teacher scores a 3 or a 4, or gets tenure or not.
     
  9. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    If a sleepy kid means my lessons weren't engaging, then I am one of the worst teachers ever. I had a kid struggle to stay awake on a daily basis. The mom said she didn't like to go to bed so she didn't make her.

    But it would be my fault the kiddo fell asleep anytime she got still? Ugh.
     
  10. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Thank you for your responses. See this district is talking a 1/4 of the eval. :eek: As much weight as student test scores.

    I agree with Teacher in Texas-the past few years I have students especially in the late afternoons (we don't nap) who regularly will fall asleep. Even if I try to keep them up, it doesn't work. That's just a crazy question to evaluate a teacher with.

    I don't even like the quitting one-I'm assuming the correct answer would be not to let them quit, but at some point you have to move on to the next lesson.
     
  11. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jun 9, 2013

    I haven't heard of that but I don't think it is a good idea for reasons already mentioned. I wonder what the evals look like for the little kids responding.
     
  12. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Jun 9, 2013

    My school has just started taking student surveys this year. I have no idea what they'll do about the large percentage of students who ignore the survey, and I have no idea how it will affect me professionally. I'll just keep doing what I do.
     
  13. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    :|
     
  14. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I'd be sure to bring in candy for the kids right before the survey.
     
  15. Myrisophilist

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    I hope they're expecting a "yes" answer on this one from all the students simply to indicate that they are normal. A control question, right? Right??? :confused:
     
  16. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    My thoughts exactly!

    I can't believe that schools are actually going through with this. Of course elementary kids are going to say their teacher is "mean" if they actually get consequences for their behavior. When I taught in a k-8, the middle school teachers had problems with kids threatening to fail the state test to "get them fired" or "lower their pay" (we were pay for performance) when the teachers would assign longer projects or expect homework to be turned in on time. Imagine what they'll do when it's as simple as filling out a survey!
     
  17. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    As long as part of the admin eval is whether or not their teachers are tired, I guess I'm okay with this.
     
  18. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

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    My district created student surveys this year, but they are optional. Teachers can decide whether to administer them. If they do, they compile the data and include them in our evaluation portfolio with student achievement data.

    I gave them to my third graders and got glowing reviews. LOL. The kids are really too young to "get it" and give appropriate feedback. If they like the teacher, they will rate them positively. If they don't like the teacher, they probably will still rate them pretty highly for fear of retribution. Third graders don't fully understand anonymity.
     
  19. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    The whole thing seems crazy to me. Hopefully it won't actually end up being 1/4.
     
  20. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jun 9, 2013

    Ugh don't even get me started on this. We just found out they'll be part of our evaluations starting in 3rd grade. (The grade I teach.) Next year will be a pilot program then the following year the real thing.

    My main concern is for my special education children. One of my children exhibits a lot of signs of being bipolar and has terrible mood swings. Loves me one second, is writing me hate notes the next. Another can barely spell his own name without assistance. Others are in 3rd grade but functioning on 1st grade level. These are the children who are going to determine part of my evaluation. Don't get me wrong, I love teaching them, I don't want to leave special ed. But is there some sort of functioning level cut off for these surveys? How can we even confirm the children understand what the question is asking them?
     
  21. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    SLEEPY AT SCHOOL???? That's my fault????? Half of my kids come to school sleepy because they stay up all night. Omg this just made me so mad. I have so much children that have terrible sleeping habits and that's something I completely blame on their parents. The majority of parents I've addressed this with have answers like, "Yeah I know he stays up until 12am, but he doesn't listen to me when I tell him to go to bed." Or "Oh no he's in bed every night at 8pm!" Even though the kid tells me everyday how they're up late watching videos on youtube. That is insane!!!!!
     
  22. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jun 26, 2013

    I had to laugh today. I was tutoring the son of a colleague and he was so excited talking about going to the next grade. He said I just know Ms. Smith will be my teacher, she's the best. So of course I have to ask "what makes her the best?" Answer: she lets you take off your shoes! Definitely the mark of a master teacher!;)
     

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