Wednesday, June 21, 2017

According to my students...

At the end of every school year, I give my students a 17-item questionnaire about me – what they liked, what they didn't like, what they'll remember, and so on.  It is always enlightening for me to read their responses and I take their comments to heart!  I keep these each year, so I have a huge folder of them from all of my years of teaching, and when I'm feeling down and questioning why I continue to choose to do this exhausting, emotionally draining, uphill battle job called teaching, I read these over and I realize that what I do really matters every single day, sometimes in big ways and sometimes in small ways.

I thought I would share some of my favorite responses to some of the questions from my students this year.  Some made me laugh, some brought tears to my eyes, and some made me see a particular student in an entirely new way.  These are from my favorite questions, and the responses are in no particular order.  Some of the responses are comical while others demonstrate pretty deep thinking for fifth graders!  I cherish these questionnaires because their thoughts and words are priceless and it is always fun to learn how they see me and reflect on what I can do better as a teacher for my future students (this year's suggestions are that I should assign less homework, not be so strict, and let students turn work in late…ohhh, fifth graders!).

I am going to miss these kids!

What are my strengths?
  • making people happy
  • being there for her students
  • being a great dog mom
  • math teaching
  • mental math
  • you're always willing to help me when I'm confused
  • being extraordinary
  • making people smile
  • playing 24
  • explaining something that you don’t understand
  • loving animals
  • knowing about Disney
  • pep-talking
  • she never gives up
  • kindness
  • having tons of imagination
  • Harry Potter knowledge
  • she has magic in her DNA
  • your happiness because you are happy almost all the time except when we don't do our work
  • Disney trivia
  • she makes her students believe in themselves

What is your favorite thing about me?
  • her kind and caring heart
  • she believes in us
  • that she rescues Dachshunds
  • she encourages us
  • her personality
  • sense of humor
  • how she loves dogs
  • how much she loves Disney
  • she forgives us if we mess up
  • how she makes math fun
  • that she likes hockey
  • she loves unicorns
  • her imagination
  • she lets us listen to music
  • her organization
  • she motivates us to never give up
  • she is humble
  • she never has a messy desk
  • she is really good at math
  • her classroom is happy
  • the way she decorates her classroom
  • she loves rainbows

What book/TV/movie character am I similar to and why?
  • Mary Poppins because she is practically perfect
  • Judy Hopps because she follows her dreams, encourages others, and is always trying to help people
  • Joy from Inside Out because she is always smiling
  • Belle because she loves to read
  • Fairy Godmother because she always helps us the same way the Fairy Godmother did for Cinderella and tries to makes our dreams come true
  • Riley from Inside Out because she likes hockey and rainbows
  • Tinker Bell because she is enthusiastic and leaves pixie dust wherever she goes
  • Dumbledore because she helps kids figure out their problems
  • Bing Bong because she is very magical
  • Harry Potter she always knows what to do in any situation
  • Hermione Granger because she is always prepared
  • Sulley from Monsters, Inc. because she's really nice, but scary when she's mad

What things do I love?
  • Disney
  • Magic
  • Magical Animals
  • Math
  • Unicorns
  • Her students
  • Dogs
  • Animals
  • Rainbows
  • Dachshunds
  • Disney World
  • Disneyland
  • Pixar
  • Books
  • Harry Potter
  • Reading
  • Traveling
  • Colors
  • Tinker Bell
  • Fridge Magnets
  • L.A. Kings
  • Teaching
  • Starbucks
  • Her family
  • Having a neat classroom
  • Hockey
  • The other three fifth grade teachers
  • Her husband
  • Adventure
  • Playing math games
  • Sleep
  • Her last name (possibly the best answer to this question of all time!)
  • Inside Out
  • Maddy and Ginny
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Happiness
  • Dumbo
  • Popcorn
  • Converse
  • Being organized

What am I famous for saying?
  • Why are there are a ton of missing assignments?
  • Don’t shout out the answer to the riddle!
  • Umm, are you doing something productive?
  • Don’t be lazy!
  • Oh my word!
  • Trust me.
  • It’s a good exercise for your brain!
  • Are you listening?
  • Get your work done!
  • Don’t say you can't, because I know you can!
  • Good grief!
  • You're ahead of the game!
  • What is happening over there?
  • Show your work!
  • Never give up!
  • Friends, can we get a move on?
  • Take your time.
  • Nice job!
  • Get it together, friends!
  • Did you bring your A Game?
  • I believe in you!

I'm only including one response to this last question because it is the most entertaining answer I've ever received!  Usually I get things like owls (they’re wise), dolphins (they're smart), unicorns (they're magical), toucans (they're colorful), elephants (they have a good memory), dragons (you don't want to mess with them), and dodo birds (they're unique) – all of these plus countless others have been actual answers over the years!  And of course, a wide range of Disney animals are usually mentioned as well.  Some have made me smile, while others have left me questioning whether the student knows me at all, but this literally made me laugh out loud.  For a very long time!

What animal am I most similar to and why?
  • A panther because she catches cheaters like they're her prey.

Hahahahaha!  I just can't with this answer!  Weeks later and I still find it hilarious!

Happy Tails to you!