I always do an end of year survey, and every year I prep myself for compliments but also negative feedback. The old rule of "ten positives for every negative" rings so true. I was talking with my husband today and I mentioned how I get so caught up with one negative comment that it's hard for me to remember the positives.
It's true in any area of our life... If we are an athlete, we hate being told that we played a crappy game. We hate knowing that we let a good friend down when they needed us the most. We hate being told that we aren't good enough. As a teacher, it is tough to receive criticism when you know you are working your butt off day in and day out to help your students succeed and they take advantage of little of what you offer to them.
We want to hear what we are doing great. We want to hear that kids love our class. We want to hear that we've made a difference. And yes, I have heard plenty of that. I had six or seven seniors choose me as their professional inspiration for their senior project. I receive notes from students thanking me for how I have helped them. I got a lot of positive feedback on the end of year survey.
I have received sixty six of my year end survey responses so far, out of approximately 160. So far, I have seven students who said they are not satisfied at all with their flipped classroom experience. Then of course, they were able to give me a reason for their answer. Now yes, I know that means fifty nine of my students enjoyed their flipped classroom experience this year. But like I said, the negative has a way of making you feel crappy and miserable no matter how many positives you hear.
I will blog about the positives soon. For tonight, I need to get out the negatives I have heard and why they are bugging me.
Now that I wrote them down, they don't seem as much to me. Good therapy :). I know that since I have almost 2/3 of the responses still to come in, there will be more negatives, it's a given. But, I will try to focus on all the positive responses and all the great feedback I have gotten all semester.
One question this leaves me with, which I asked above...
HOW DO WE STILL TRY TO REACH THESE STUDENTS?
How do we get them to work hard even if they don't like the structure of the class? It is a question that goes beyond the flipped classroom... It's a question that any teacher who uses any teaching method asks.
I've tweeted a lot lately about reaching students, and I have come to the realization that I need to be okay with not reaching every student and not take "offense" when they don't gel with me. It's not something that will come easy to me by any means. It's something I never thought I would say as a teacher. It's not really something most teachers talk about either, so I am glad I feel I can be completely honest here.
Oh, and I am just secretly hoping these students come back to me next year or in a few and say that they realized how much the flipped classroom really benefitted them. I am hoping next year they end up hoping their math class was flipped. I'm hoping that this is just a "grass is always greener on the other side" moment. And if not, well, I guess I will have to be okay with it.
Positives are coming... And there's a lot of them... But I needed to get the negatives out because they were bugging me.
And right after I pushed publish, I got this "final comment" from a parent:
"Only that you are doing a wonderful job with the students. The flipped classroom is a wonderful concept, my daughter has benefited so much from your videos."
A post with some other positive parent comments here