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Classroom Management Via Student Feedback

Janelle Cox

If you’re looking to improve your teaching, then getting student feedback is the best way to that.  Just as your students benefit from getting feedback on their work, you too can benefit from getting feedback on your teaching and classroom management from your students. The more information that you gather about your teaching skills, the more that you can improve upon, as well as make classroom management changes that will benefit your students. It’s also a great way to help you develop as a teacher. Self-reflection is an important part of developing your craft as a teacher. However, your students are the ones that are obtaining the information that you give them, so getting feedback from them can really make a difference in how you can use classroom management to improve as a teacher. Here are a few useful ways to get information from your students on how they perceive your teaching.

Classroom Management: Gathering Student Feedback

There are a variety of different way that you solicit feedback from your students. Here are a few teacher favorites.

Student Focus Groups

To help you set new goals and improve your teaching methods, have a mid-year, as well as an end-of-year, student focus group. Focus groups are a great way for students to see how others think the course is going. To start, divide students into a few small groups and give them the following discussion questions. If you think it’ll make students feel more comfortable, and compelling, to answer honestly, then have a colleague manage the focus groups.

  • What was the most important thing that you learned in class thus far?
  • What would you like the teacher to keep doing in class?
  • What would like the teacher to start doing in class?
  • What would like the teacher to stop doing in class?
  • What are five things that you have learned in this class?

Anonymous Notes

Getting feedback from an anonymous note is a great way to learn how students really feel. Encourage students to leave a typed (so you won’t know who it’s from by their handwriting) note on your desk anytime they feel they need to comment on your teaching. This is a great way for you to learn how you’re doing as a teacher in a non-threatening way from your students.

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Open-Ended Student Survey

Have your students fill out an anonymous open-ended survey both mid-year as well as end-of-year. The anonymity of the survey will allow students to be honest, so you can have an idea of how well your class is really going. Here are a few sample questions that you can ask students.

  • What is one strategy that you have learned in class?
  • Is there anything that you wish you could’ve learned?
  • What aspects of the class have been helpful to you?
  • What would you like to see improved?
  • What did you find boring?
  • What changes can the teacher make to improve your learning in this class?
  • What are three aspects of the class that has helped your learning?

A Rated Questionnaire

Another feedback option that you can get from your students is to conduct a rated questionnaire. This is when the teacher writes down several statements regarding their teaching style and class, along with a rating scale next to each statement. Here are a few sample statements that you can use.

  • In class, the teacher makes class interesting and relevant.
  • In class, the teacher is involved and supportive of students.
  • In class, the teacher is fair.
  • In class, the teacher clearly explains the objectives, requirements and grading system of the course.  (Yes, No, Sometimes)
  • In class, the teacher is attentive to all students’ needs.
  • In class, the teacher provides opportunities for student choice. (Yes, No, Sometimes)
  • In class, the teacher presents material in a variety of ways (hands-on, group, etc.). (Yes, No, Sometimes)

Many teachers tend to avoid getting student feedback because they think the students will not take it seriously. However, when you word your questions to fit your students’ age group, and make sure that each question is short and to the point, then students will take the time to give you useful feedback. Also, make sure that you tell students that their input matters.

Do you use student feedback to improve your teaching skills? If so, what is your classroom management strategy for getting the most out of your students? Please share with us in the comment section below, we’d love to hear from you on this topic. 


Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.