Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Letter to the Teacher at Semester's End

As the first semester comes to a close, I ask the students to write me a letter as a checkpoint for themselves and for me.  The questions allow both of us to look back at their journey in my class, from where they started to where they are now and to what they hope for the next semester.

Letter to Mr. Miller

To reflect on this semester,  you will write a letter to me addressing ALL of the topics given below. Feel free to write on any additional themes that you may have a need to express.

Must be typed and turned in as a Word Document.
Think before you write, Consider, both what you say (the meaningfulness of your thoughts) and how you say it (grammar and mechanics). It does not need to be formal, but it should be interesting and coherent (logical and understandable).
Be honest and have fun with this: don’t make it a chore.

Due: December ??,

*      Describe your thoughts and feelings about (course) at the beginning of the year compared with today.
*      What did you hope to accomplish at the beginning of the semester? Were you able to do this to your satisfaction?
*      What were your favorite aspects of the class?
*      Describe something that was very difficult for you, and how you were able to persevere?
*      What did you learn about yourself through this class?
*      What are some of the important things you learned from this class other than (subject)?
*      Describe your favorite memory from this class.
*      What would help you to succeed in this class next semester?
*      What advice would you give to a student taking this class next year?

I find that this less formal style of course evaluation provides more information for me as design the next semester or the following year. I am able to better evaluate what was effective for the students and those moments that were truly memorable for them in their learning process.  

But, if you can't handle the truth, don't ask for it, because students have no problem with sharing their likes and their dislikes. 

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