I ended up asking the question at the end of each of my class periods the day before we got out of school for the summer. I can't claim the results are the most accurate, but I am posting them below verbatim to see if their are any patterns...be kind on the spelling/grammar :-). Is what I try to bestow on my students rubbing off? Do they enjoy/dislike my class for those reasons or for something entirely different? Are there differences in grade levels? Do opinions hinge on system likes or dislikes and not necessarily something specific about me? Do students this age really notice the "little things." Let's find out.
The two biggest ideas I stress in my classroom are improvement and understanding. In looking through the responses, 12/42 6th graders (28.5%) and 13/33 (39.3%) 7th graders (I had a lot gone or doing things for other classes) specifically mentioned improvement or becoming better mathematically. Only 4.7% of 6th graders and 3% if 7th graders said something about their level of understanding. An equal number of students said something about me liking candy as did the mathematical understanding! I'm not sure if that means anything, but it is interesting to me that improvement is mentioned much more even though I speak about both of those concepts hand in hand.
One of my main focuses as a teacher is to not give too much information. We do a lot of mathematical tasks, and students have a tough time at first not getting immediate information from me. My 6th graders were actually a little confused at the start of the year...thought I didn't like them because I wasn't telling them everything. Eventually they caught on. It was interesting to see that 3 students mentioned something about this...although this one may or may not count:
"but when he gives me help, usually he doesn't explain it very well"
No matter what we are doing in class, I use self-pacing as my philosophy. That doesn't mean that students have all year to complete something, but it does mean that I create loose deadlines for completion allowing plenty of time for understanding, and it also means students can be pushed or challenged at the same time without being held back. 16.7% of 6th graders mentioned something to do with self-pacing and no 7th grader mentioned this. Could this be because 7th graders are so used to being pushed that they do not even think about it being different anymore?
I didn't know I was so funny. Maybe the students mean funny looking. It didn't work for Joey in Full House when he was a substitute, but maybe if this teaching gig doesn't pan out I have a career in comedy because 17% of 6th graders thought I was funny. I must get less funny the older the students get because only one 7th grader thought I was funny.
Here are a few random words I found that described me that show that these middle schoolers at least thought about the question: motivator, persistent, realistic, stressful, flexible, strict, and efficient...I can live with all of those.
I even got a Rocky reference from a kid who I doubt has seen any of those movies...
Doing something like this can get you thinking going into the summer. I'm not sure how much I actually learned from this, but I am very proud of the relationships I build with my students and how they lead to success. If you are looking for a way to improve on your teaching and to hone your craft over the summer, you might want to focus little on curriculum, a little on classroom culture, and some with your relationships with students. All students are different, you just need to find something each student as an individual can latch onto ensuring that all the potential in your classroom is fulfilled. One piece of advice though...watch out for this student:
"Dr. Edwards is my favorite teacher in the whole entire world.. and I hate teachers."
I think that dr. Edwards is a great teacher Because he has helped me improve in math and being a better student and he Is a very good motivator overall i think he is a great teacher and best teacher i have had.
Weel He is a grate teacher he helps you if you have a question if you fnish your work he lets you go on to do higher level math. He is in my eyes the best midle school teacher.
I would say that you are awesome and i learned a lot from you... You are funny and always make me laugh even if i am in a bad mood. You are my favorite teacher... And FYI I want you to teach me next year for sure...
He is the best teacher ever because I hated math and I was horrible at it through PK-5th grade know with him being my teacher I am now at a A he is the best
I have to say you are my favorite teacher. I always have hated math and I never liked it because I couldn't understand things well, but when this year rolled around math was my favorite subject. You help me understand things more better and because of that my math scores have improved a lot! Thank you for being the best math teacher ever!
Dr.Edwards is a great teacher and he can explain things so it makes scene and I remember how. I like the ways he teaches because with his website you can work at your own speed.
I think that you are a really good teacher because you challenge us and help us. You give us work that I enjoy and the units are really fun. My favourite day of the week is Thursday because I like the Facts and Computation.
You are a great teacher. Your really fun and the way you teach math is fun because it lets you work at your own pace. Also I didn't really like math but now I really like math because you have helped a lot. Your really awesome!
nice funny I learn a lot from you and is my favorite teacher.
Persistant because he wants you to improve.
He is helpful funny and a motivator
That you are the best teacher and you make the day way better
I would say that you are the best math teacher ever.
i would say he is an awesome math teacher, he is really nice, and he cares about improvement
I think that you are the best teacher I have had I won't be able to be taught by you next year which is sad but you are the coolest most realistic and caring teacher I know.
Dr. Edwards is is a good math teacher.
He is a good math teacher and he helps me with math.
I like the way you teach. I like how at the end of the class you do the questions and the star bursts.
Edwards is a gummy bear giving guy fun dude and the best math teacher.
he is a asome teacher even tho the can be alitel stresfull but he is one of the best techers i ever had
I think that you are a really good math teacher and pushes us even though it gets hard. He is a really good person in general and helps people out no matter what. If he has to take up his time to help us he will just to make us better!
I think Dr. Edwards is a great teacher he helps every one improve on the big tests he always has a plan and makes sure you do to so over all he is a great teacher and I would love to have him again
hes the best math teacher and he teaches in his own ways that helps kids learn better
That Dr. Edwards helps the students so much and helps them improve and is one of the beast teachers I had for helping me learn so much.
Amazing teacher guides us in the right path to learning more
He is nice teacher we have in the school.
If we ask your students, what would they say about you? I would tell them that Dr Edwards is a really educated person that knows exactly what he wants you to do and exactly what time in an exact way. He knows how to get improvement out of kids.
I think Dr. Edwards is one of those teachers that if you need help he won't give you the answer he will help you, and he is one of those techers that treats his students like they are young adults.
I think Dr. Edwards is flexible. Flexible because you are almost always available after school and before school just to help students. Thank you.
He is the best teach with getting you and others improved.
I think dr.edwards is fun and has a why of techie us a why most people don't do
I would say that You care mostly about Improvment, and you take your job very seriously.
I would say,