Ideas on what you can do at the end of the school year or semester:

  1. Survey your students
    1. End of term opinions
    2. Future goals sheet
  2. Where to put objects

  3. Who will be using your room over the summer? Will you be in the same classroom next year?

  4. Future contact information.

  5. Don't wait until the last hour of the last day to get signatures you need for departure. If you have to get the librarian's signature, maintence's signature, the tech person's signature, the supply room person's signature, start early. And don't piss them off if they can't help you the very second you need their attention.

End of term opinions

At the end of each term- when you are saying goodbye to kids, it is a good time to get feedback from them. Personally I valued what my students told me. They shaped my teaching abilities far more than any adult colleague did.

Questions to ask: (suggested, of course you should make your own choices)

  1. Course based
  2. Teacher based
  3. Open ended

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Course based

The course:

_______ is the hardest course at Sample High School (SHS)

_______ should have been the hardest course at SHS

_______ was as difficult as many courses at SHS

_______ was of medium difficulty

_______ was incredibly easy

_______ should have been more difficult

_______ should have gone faster

_______ should have gone slower

_______ should have more projects

_______ should allow the students more freedom to create their own experiments

_______ should have a common departmental final

_______ offered enough opportunities for hands-on instruction

_______ should have had more opportunities for hands-on instruction

_______ should have had fewer opportunities for hands-on instruction

_______ enriched my understanding of science

_______ did not enrich my understanding of science

_______ should be a two semester/two year course

_______ should remain as a single semester class

_______ should require more work

_______ should require fewer laboratory reports

_______ should require less homework

_______ should contain fewer unit tests

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Teacher based

check all that apply and feel free to add comments of your own:

_______ I felt comfortable being a student in Ms. Teacher's class (Ms T)
_______ I was challenged by Ms. T in a positive way
_______ I was challenged by Ms. T in a negative way
_______ she made the class too easy
_______ she made the class appropriately challenging
_______ she made the class too hard
_______ this was one of my favorite classes because:
_______ this was one of my worst classes because:
_______ I would gladly take another class that Ms. T teaches because she teaches well
_______ I would gladly take another class that Ms. T teaches because she is an easy teacher
_______ the worksheets Ms. T wrote were helpful
_______ the worksheets Ms. T wrote were a waste of paper
_______ someone ought to teach Ms. T how to write a workshee
_______ I would have wanted more creative assignments that dealt with things like creative writing or science fiction
_______ I feel better prepared for college after taking Ms. T ’s class
_______ at least 90% of the time I felt like Ms. T respected my opinions and thoughts
_______ I felt like I could ask questions without feeling stupid
_______ When I asked questions, Ms. T made me feel stupid
_______ I rarely did the homework and did great in class.
_______ I always did the homework and did great in class
_______ I always did the homework and did average in class
_______ I always did the homework and did poorly in class
_______ I did the homework at least 75% of the time and did great in class.
_______ I did the homework at least 75% of the time did average in class
_______ I did the homework at least 75% of the time did poorly in class
_______ my study skills improved because of this class
_______ my study skills were not affected by this class
_______ I really learned how to cram for a test the night before the test because of this class
_______ I really want to know, did Ms. T get her credential at a blue light special? (If there is not a localK-mart students may have no clue what this refers to.)
_______ Ms. T needs a fashion consultant (Yes, humor is allowed)

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Open ended

  1. Please fill in the sentence:  I would recommend a friend to take a class taught by Ms. T because

  2. Please take some time to describe what you think are the qualities of an excellent teacher (don’t necessarily think of how you would want to change Ms. T, just describe your ideal teacher.)

  3. Now, of these qualities, does Ms. T have any of them?  If so, please describe how she fits your description.

  4. What should change in order to make this class better for your needs?

  5. How should Ms. T change to better meet your needs?

  6. Tell how you think the parts of the course should be graded.  Include how much weight you would give to homework, laboratory reports, mini-lab write-ups, quizzes, tests, projects, extra credit. How much weight should the final have?

  7. Please add any comments or suggest questions that should have been asked on this evaluation:

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Future goals sheet

The point of a future goals sheet is so that you have some documentation to look at when students come to you a year or two later asking for a letter of recommendation.

Of course, at the time we have the students we can't imagine there ever being a time when we could not think of something amazing to say about the student...but after another 160 kids have gone through your classroom, you might have a fainter memory.

So one thing you can do is ask students to fill out a brief info sheet so you can look them up when they ask for the letter of rec.

I also highly recommend you ask students to give you an information sheet when they ask for a letter of rec, something similar to a resume so that you can write a sincere, authentic letter of rec.

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Example of compontents of a student future goal sheet:

Term, Year , Sample High School, name of course Name:
phone number:
email address:
current GPA:
activities you are involved with in school:
activities you are involved with outside of school, include jobs: colleges you plan to apply to:
possible careers:
why are you choosing these possible careers:
where you see yourself in 5 years:
where you see yourself in 10 years:
hobbies, sports:
name one thing you learned during your semester/year in chemistry:
name your favorite thing about Sample High School:
name your least favorite thing about Sample High School:
graduation date:
any other helpful information:


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It's the end of the year, where do I put all of the crap I've collected for the last 9 months?

Student documents

You must respect students' privacy. If you have any documents such as copies of referrals, phone calls home, information sheets, and grades first find out if you have any legal obligations for holding onto any of the documents. Some schools expect you to hold onto grading documents for 5 years, others don't need anything beyond what you give them before you leave for summer.

If you plan to get rid of student documents, shred everything before recycling the paper. What we may think is nonsensical information, may actually be able to be used for identity theft, so be responsible with your students' information and respect their privacy.

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Teacher documents

If you don't already have a filing system outside of the classroom, start one at home. Take a folder, label it with this school year's date, and put your teacher documents in it. These could be copies of your evaluations, copies of professional development things that are worth saving, or other important papers you may need in the future. Common documents you should place somewhere you can easily find them are:

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Teaching documents

Hopefully everything you used in your classroom is documented on a computer. If it is not your computer, transfer all of the files onto a CD or flash drive so you have a copy you can store at home. Do not expect the computer that is in your classroom this year to be the same computer you get to use next year. You may never see this computer again so make sure you have personal copies of all documents that you have been storing on a computer at school.

If you have extra worksheets that you plan to use again, hang onto them. If you plan to revise the worksheet, keep one copy and recycle the rest. Trust me, having multiple years of worksheets piling up in filing cabinets does not do your mental health any good or the environment. Let them be free and rejoin the other wood atoms at the recycling center.

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Teaching objects

Take home all personal books or teaching materials that you purchased. Do not trust they will still be in your classroom when you return. Do not trust that the filing cabinet you have things in in your classroom will still be there the following fall. I found one filing cabinet I had stored school based documents in sitting outside in the rain when I returned in the fall. That was fun...those were documents to be used toward our accreditation. For some reason, it was too difficult to put the filing cabinet back in the classroom after cleaning the floor that the cabinet sat outside for anyone to visit, which they did!

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Not that you should have to rent a space for school based objects, but if you think something could go "poof" during the summer, put it in a storage unit for the summer (unless you have a garage or back yard that can store the objects.) Our school was renovated during the course of two summers. Numerous objects disappeared during the first summer. These are objects we would not expect anyone to want or even care about, but for some reason, they disappeared. That second summer, I rented a storage space so that all of the biotech equipment I had spent the year acquiring was actually available in the fall. Nothing is worse than putting time into acquiring objects to have them then disappear over the summer. It is unfortunate that we can't trust everyone who works at a school, but in my experience, we couldn't. If there was an object that had any value, I put it in storage or took it home. Leaving balances over the summer so they could be repaired was one of my biggest frustrations. It was as if we were inviting people to come and steal them.

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Yes, I agree that if the school paid for something, it should stay at the school. However, if the object stays at school and consequently is stolen, it is better for you to sign out with your administration that you are hanging onto the object during the summer than to risk losing it. When you get your curriculum into a routine, having to change it because equipment is stolen is the wrong reason to change.

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Who will be using your room over the summer? Will you be in the same classroom next year?



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Future contact information

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Can you tell that this was originally written BEFORE MySpace, Twitter, Facebook or any other social media apps existed? Yep, I'm that old and thrilled to be this aged.

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