I have been waiting to make a meaningful reaction to our survey results until administering the survey, and am happy I have them. Last year, in a Grade 2 class, it was indicated that Classroom Management, Clarify and Challenge could be areas for me to grow. This year I am surveying a Grade 3 class, some students of which were in that same Grade 2 class. I thought this would be an interesting opportunity to see myself on a continuum with the same students.
Obviously, my results in October are going to be weaker than my results in the Spring since I am only able to see students 3 times a cycle and these relationships have not been fully formed as of yet. Additionally, Weeks 2-7 of the school year were spent with guest teachers. We had Club Football for Week 2, and weeks 3-7 were spent in the swimming pool. While I was very present during those lessons; dealing with behavioural/social/emotional issues, give feedback and transitioning the students; the bulk of instruction was coming from the swim coaches. The last two weeks before the survey were spent during our Health and Fitness unit.
WHAT WENT WELL
The students in this third grade class seem to enjoy PE, which results in a high score for Captivate. They find the activities we do in class interesting and are having fun. Most of the students enjoy the activities we do in class, which is a high goal for creating lifelong happy and healthy individuals.
My next strongest metric was Confer. This indicates to me that the students feel they have choice and and a voice in our class. The itemized response did not support that I want students to “share their thoughts” – but I would chalk this up to a poor question. I try my best to elevate my student’s voice in terms of activity and content, but with a short lesson time its hard to hear all of the students’ thoughts.
AREAS FOR GROWTH
My weakest area as indicated by the student surveys was Consolidate. This would indicate that I am not providing enough time for students to connect learning to their lesson. This reason for this could be due to my own time management. Often, this class is scheduled after lunch or recess and therefore some time is lost in the beginning of class in transition. I scored poorly in connecting student learning to earlier parts of the unit and at summarizing the day’s learning. By using objectives, I intend on improving this metric this year by reviewing them at the beginning, middle and end of class. It is not all doom and gloom: almost 80% of the students indicated that this was an area of strength during PE class.
Another area for growth as indicated by my surveys is in Classroom Management. This, fortunately, will not make me cancel the presentation I am giving at the PHASE-AP conference for physical educators about ways to increase consistency and routines in PE class. I do think Classroom Management is a real strength of mine and the important work of establishing norms and routines early in the year will pay off in dividends in the spring. If I changed the language I use to indicate “you are wasting your class’ activity time!“, I feel that these scores will decrease.
Once students are more familiar with my expectations as a teacher, I feel that they will be self-motivated to transition quicker. Also, the exciting activities that will continue this year will raise this score as well as “Captivate“. Students would have a very different reaction and result if this survey was administered after World Air Toss, Mission Impossible or Colour Ball.
I am looking forward to more learning as the year progresses!