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"The Hot Seat"!! Oh no!!!

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"The Hot Seat"!!! AAAHHHH!!! I don't know about the rest of you, but this is usually my reaction when my students get an opportunity to grade and critique ME for a change.

I think all teachers tend to get prideful and defensive of their teaching techniques and strategies after years of being in the classroom (and probably have good reason to). While I'm nowhere near being a seasoned pro, I like to humble myself before my students about halfway through the semester and ask them for feedback. This shows that I care about them and that I want to have the best possible class to help them succeed.

I usually give the students a couple questions on a handout and have them write their opinions (either in sentences or a few words, depending on their level). Included are: What is your favorite thing about this class? What is your least favorite thing about this class? What do you want to learn in this class that we haven't covered yet? What can the teacher do to improve this class? What can you do to improve this class?

I tell the students not to put their names on the papers so they can anonymously express themselves. These informal questionnaires are surprisingly beneficial to me as a teacher and to the class as a whole. Although sometimes the brutal honesty of a student's opinion can hurt my pride, I just remind myself that I'm not a perfect teacher, and never will be, but this feedback will help me strive to give my best.

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Aichi, Japan

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