Wednesday 20 July 2011

Quick Tip: Ask for Feedback

As teachers it's pretty easy for us to start thinking that we know it all. Although there are some employers that observe teachers or have students give teacher evaluations at the end of a course, it's not enough. I know it can be hard for you and your students but you should try to ask for feedback each class or at least once a week.

It doesn't have to be a big deal. Simply asking students if they liked the lesson or not is a good start.You can have them say their favourite and least favourite part of the lesson. It's hard to listen to this, but it's constructive criticism, it'll make learning English fun, and it'll make you a better teacher.

Many students are afraid to tell a teacher what they didn't like. You could help them by making it anonymous. You need to explain to them that feedback will help both you and them. A couple minutes before the end of class, you could leave the room and ask them to write two things they liked about the class and two things they didn't like about the class. Remind them not to put their names on the papers. Have one student collect the papers and stick them in an envelope. They can even seal the envelope if they want. Then finish the class.

When you get back home or to your office you can read what they wrote. It's awkward and can be hard to hear students say that they didn't like something you did, especially if you spent a lot of time planning that activity. However, by doing this, you will change the way you teach for the better. Your classes will become more student centred and ultimately better for both you and your students.

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