Depending on the student and the reason why, I might actually do…
But after I do this, there are four specific things I do, that actually work, when I receive constructive feedback from my students and even their families.
I Look Back to Move Forward
At the beginning of the school year, my students complete Content Attitude Surveys. From time to time, I go back and reread their responses to determine if any of their thoughts are an indication of them not liking my class. Most times, it’s there. I respond based on what information I glean from the survey. Sometimes you have to go back, back to move forth and forth. Click here to get the free surveys!
I Check Relationship Status
Sometimes, I need to take a step back and reflect on the relationship the student and I currently have. I have to ask myself some questions:
- Are they having positive experiences in my class?
- Are they making progress?
- Am I communicating that progress?
- How am I communicating progress?
- Are they receptive to the way I am giving feedback?
- Are they receiving any positive feedback?
- Do this student and I bump heads?
- I am the adult in this situation, so what can I do?
- What do or don’t I know, about this student, that can help me to help them?
- Do I really know my student?
I Get Quiet and Listen
I take what the student says seriously (more often than not). Behavior and attitude are communication. Again, I ask questions about the behavior and attitude, then I shut up, and I listen to the response as best as I can with the time that I have. (This is easier said than done, but in the whole scheme of things, it is worth it). Sometimes, I incorporate their ideas. I listen.
I Try to Never, Ever Take it Personal
But sometimes, it is personal.
Some students do try to personally attack us or our character, but sometimes, its not usually about us at all. They could be struggling with something unbeknownst to us. Perhaps past experiences in school or in similar subjects/content areas were unfavorable. Maybe it is about us, and the student thinks we are inconsistent, are unfair, are disorganized, are unclear, or talk too much. Don’t take it personal, especially if it’s true. The best way is to validate the student, and use the feedback as an opportunity for growth. An opportunity to show a child and model what to do and how to act when they receive unfavorable feedback. I rarely take things personally.
Now with most things, these steps depend on how well you know your students.
Again, at the beginning of the year, I give surveys to my students to help with this. I also gather information from their families, former teachers, and student files. I prefer to be proactive vs. reactive. Based on what you know or don’t know about your students will ultimately determine the best way to handle when a student says, “I don’t like this class.”
How do you handle when a student says they don’t like your class? Share in the comments below.
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