Reflections on Student Evaluations

  1. What are the patterns of positive feedback?
  • The atmosphere in class is usually described as positive, engaging, comfortable, and conducive to learning. Students enjoyed most activities I put together especially fill-in-the-blanks lyrics for French songs.
  • I’m overall seen as very approachable and available for questions, both in and out of class. One said “He was very understanding and was always there to help.”
  1. What are the patterns of negative feedback?
  • Some students said I should spend a bit more time explaining grammar on the board and doing more practice sheets or drills, in other words explaining grammar in a more traditional way.
  • Some said they felt intimidated when I was waiting for them to answer questions, that I shouldn’t expect them to be so proficient and fluent in French. In my perspective, I was just giving them time to put together their sentences and being patient with them.
  • Most students said that the classroom atmosphere was very inviting, amicable and comfortable, to the point that someone judged it “not too serious.”
  1. Based on the feedback in your evaluations, what will you do differently over the following semesters?
  • I need to find the right balance between oral communication and making the classroom atmosphere serious and grammar-oriented. I have come to realize that it was crucial to alternate between different types of classrooms at different moments of the course to better satisfy all types of learners with different needs and levels of comfort.
  • I should make sure to be more gentle when I call on certain students who might be more insecure to participate. I know some students who would benefit from participating more but who will not do it spontaneously. Some students have expressed that they know the answer but simply won’t participate to give a chance to their classmates who need more time to think. Other students, though, might simply be stuck like “a deer in headlights” when being called on and when trying to formulate their thoughts in front of the class. Keeping this in mind, I will be able to identify how to act based on the individual student. This is why I always make a point of knowing each student personally.