Collecting student feedback brings opportunities for building relationships with students and creating classroom goals with student input. Rebecca McFall, the superintendent of Lincoln Public Schools in Lincoln, Massachusetts, published “The Benefits of Soliciting Our Students’ Feedback” in the School Superintendents’ Association (AASA)’s School Administrator. In Lincoln, student feedback has been a powerful way for teachers to connect with their students and strengthen their classroom practice.
Last year, Lincoln worked with Panorama to administer the Massachusetts Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) Model Student Feedback Survey to their students in grades 3-12. In the piece she published with the AASA, Dr. McFall shares that teachers gathered together to discuss their student feedback and how they wanted to take next steps in the classroom. Dr. McFall encouraged her teachers to share at least some of their student responses with their class, as a way to demonstrate that they were taking the feedback seriously.
One teacher took that advice a step further. Ms. Ferguson, a sixth-grade teacher in Lincoln, used her students’ feedback to set five class-wide goals: incorporating more challenging work into the curriculum, making sure that all homework was related to classwork, including classroom activities that made students’ accountable for each other’s success, integrating more student choice into activities, and using a variety of teaching methods in presenting lessons. After a few months of working toward these goals in her classroom, Ms. Ferguson reported that she felt closer to her students, that her students were more actively involved in their schoolwork and trying harder, and that they felt a greater sense of ownership over what was happening in the classroom.
"Teachers care immensely about what their students think of them as educators. Seeing the written comments of their students immediately drives home the impact educators are having on their students’ experiences."
—Dr. Rebecca McFall
Panorama is proud to support the work of thoughtful administrators and teachers like Dr. McFall and Ms. Ferguson in Lincoln, and we are excited to continue learning from educators about how they’re using their student feedback to strengthen their teaching practice, build more meaningful relationships with their students, and set goals for collective improvement in the classroom and outside of it.