The Influence of Student Surveys

This NY Times piece from its technology blog is ostensibly about the innovative ideas coming from a tech startup that seeks to facilitate the surveying of students about their schools and teachers. From my reading, it looks like the company described is offering some great tools for schools to accomplish this. But I think there’s a bigger story here and something important for you to consider as you move into the classrooms.

First, I think many teachers feel a sense of ambivalence about student surveys: on the one hand, we recognize the importance of understanding how students are experiencing the classroom and our instruction; on the other hand, we recognize that sometimes students (a) don’t take the surveys seriously or (b) aren’t always capable of making sound evaluations of a teacher’s performance. I’ve had plenty of student surveys returned with suggestions such asĀ “Have more pizza parties” or “We need less homework” that are really unhelpful evaluations of the classroom experience.

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