Science in the D

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jun 21 2012

“White, but nice.” What my students say…

I’m still not quite ready to reflect on my year… so I’ll let my kiddos do the talking for me. I gave all 3 grades an end of the year survey. I have included some of the more entertaining or awesome or sweet responses… both good and bad. Overall I was encouraged with the positive tone, but I definitely had some negative responses as well. But almost all of it was really helpful (and entertaining) feedback. My students and I have come a long way since the beginning of the year… and my summer school students from instituted would also have very different opinions.

Below are some responses from select questions. The number following the comment indicates the grade, “G” indicates the girls class, while “B” indicates the boys class.

Did you like the way that class is structured? Why or why not? What would you change if you could change something?

“Yeah because she pushed us no matter what. I would have changed nothing.” -9B

“No because of the smell. That’s one thing I will change.” –7B (my class with the most digestive issues this spring)

“Sometimes class seemed unorganized. But overall it was okay.” –8G (I would agree… better organization is on the top of my priority list for the fall.)

“Yes because everyday I came in she told us to get a pen and paper and get right to work on our do now.” –7G (some students did not like this part of class)

“Yes I do. It is very soothing and comfortable.” –8B (from a student who fell asleep on occasion… now I know why!)

One thing I think my teacher could do to make class more fun and engaging is…

“She could be more fun and she do fun things like talk funny. Be a cool teacher.” –7th grade

“make things a little more easier.” –9B—the student with the consistently highest grades in class

“make songs or raps in to the work or dances. –9B

“we should have hunts outside searching for things.” –8B

“having more group projects like models we could build.” –9B

“Have class outside every single day.” –8B

“give out money.” –9B

“to do more projects and to loosen up.” –7B

“to get a PS3 and put it on the projector and the people who do their work can play.” –8B (yeah, I wish this too.)

If you didn’t understand something during class, what did you do about it?

“I would sometimes pout for a couple seconds then ask someone for help.” –7B (honesty, I love it!)

“If another student who doesn’t have your teacher as a teacher asked you to describe her as a teacher, what would you say?”

“I would say nice most of the time helpful sometime. Dress nice, she explains when you need her to.” –7th

“Bossy as a teacher but as a person good people.” –7B

“White, but nice and she cares.” –9G

“She’s kind, a good teacher, & works very hard to make sure we achieve our goal.” –7G

“My teacher has long hair and she is tall.” –7B

“I will say she is favoritism. Shes not fair.” -7G

“I would say she okay sometimes.” –7G

“She is funny, helpful, strict, silly, and goofy but also serious when it comes to her class.” –7G

“To be honest what I will tell that student is she mean on some days, she care if you pass her class and she wants you to be there on time or else that’s a write up.” –9th grade boy who wasn’t allowed into class about 3 days in a row for being really late

“She’s hard working, fun at most times and will push you to the limit. –9B

“A nice great wonderful teacher also helpful and will not give up on you kind of teacher.” –7B (one of my more active students)

“She’s cool, nice and she doesn’t play around when it’s time to work so don’t play with her cause she will write you up QUICK!” –8G (from one of my most difficult girls early on… she once sang and danced as she was kicked out of my room, by the end of the year she was one of my best, most focused students… we both came a long way!)

“She’s a teacher that can be irritating sometimes, but can also be cool letting you listen to music & going outside.” –8G

“I would say she is very difficult, she’s preposterous and is a slow teacher, but makes sure she gets her job done and that you know the work.” –8G (Well… it’s a half compliment, perhaps?)

“I would say she’s a teacher you can build a relationship with. She has a jolly personality.” –8G

“I would say that she is nice, irritating, but very interesting.” –8B (from my self-proclaimed ‘long lost son’)

“She is a really lenient teacher. But she cares about us enough to give us lunch detention.” –8B

“What was your favorite thing that we learned about this year? Why?

“When we talked about sexual reproduction because now I know science terms.” –9B—we talked about meiosis.

“My favorite thing that we learned was about water tension.” –8B (from the 1st place science fair winner, who often struggled in class, but had a great presentation on water tension for the judges)

“Force because it’s the only one I can really understand.” –8B

“My favorite thing was the bases & acids because we got to see chemicals & stuff.” –7G

“What was your favorite lab or activity from this year? Why?”

“When we play Jeopardy because I like to see the class in groups just having fun.” –9B

“My favorite was when we broke the toothpicks. It relieved stress.” –9B—in reference to a basic enzyme lab activity which several of my students (luckily & apparently loved) since I didn’t have lab supplies to do anything more complex!

“Science projects. Why? It was really cool to work in a group with 2 other people.” -7B

“My favorite lab this year was the lab with the rocks.” –8B (I’m excited someone liked the rocks (with fossils) that I collected throughout my nerdy college field trips.)

“The food web game we did in the gym, because it was fun to play and I learned from it.” –9G, regarding a food web chain game I have now played with students from kindergarten through 9th grade. Students play rock-paper-scissors to work their way up a food chain.

“My favorite thing was the water cycle game.” –7B (students rotated through stations based on cards that told them what happened to their water droplet, then they got to write a creative story)

“When we did the gummy bear lab activity. I feel this way because I like gummy bears.” –7B, a diffusion lab

“My favorite activity was the science fair because I got to meet people like her husband and he judged me and my partners board. It was really nice.” –8G (my medical student husband & friend were science fair judges, along with my MTLD!)

“I liked when we did stations. It gave us a chance to move around and interact with the class.” –8G

“My favorite activity was the stations because it tested our knowledge and showed us what we knew in class so far.” –8G

“The bubble gum lab because it tastes good.” –8B

What advice would you have for someone taking this class next year that you wish you knew at the beginning of the year?

“This will be one of your hardest classes but keep your head up because if I got through it I know you can too.” –8G (from a girl who was almost never in class at the beginning of the year, then started consistently achieving our big goal on tests)

“Be prepared every day and ready to take heavy notes.” –9B

“To study hard.” –9B

“Do your best. Never give up and always ask questions.” –7B

“I would say you shouldn’t talk and act the fool unless you want to go to summer school.” –7G

“Stay strong and don’t say what you want to say out loud.” –8B (a student who often got in trouble for playing in class)

“Just do what you have to do because if you sit around playing all the time you’ll be that same person in 6 years sitting in your momma house wishing you would’ve shut up.” –7G (This is hilariously awesome!)

“Make sure if you’re sneaking on your phone wait until she’s not talking.” –8G

“Make sure that you do your best and seek after the goal that you set for this class, and pray that you have her as your teacher.” –8B

Additional Comments:

“Talk to your students and try to build a stronger relationship with them. I think that would be very helpful. =) Love ___” –8G (from my turn-around student who sang and danced out of my classroom early in the year)

“Ummm, really our relationship was off and on. You had your days and I had mine. But overall I learned a lot in a little time. The work was easy and helpful. This year has been fun with you. THANK YOU!” -8G

“I would like for you to know that this year has been awesome. I learned a lot of new information. This class wasn’t hard at all I just had to pay attention, ask questions, do my homework, and my classwork. Our year together has been wonderful! I appreciate all of the knowledge you gave me about science. I want to say thank you! –8G

“I would like you to know that I had a great time sharing my year with you and I also want you to know that I’m going to miss you!!!!” –8B (from my self-proclaimed ‘long-lost son’ who grew the most of any student this year on our online assessments)

“None cus I’m done!!! Aye!!!” –8B

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    a 2011 CM in Detriot

    High School

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