Look How Far We’ve Come!

At the end of every year, I have my students fill out reflection surveys.  It serves multiple purposes – in a practical teaching sense, it lets me know if they preferred textbook assignments, worksheets, or other activities, tells me the content they found easiest and most difficult for me to be able to improve the more difficult lessons for next year, etc.  It also gives them a chance to think about how much they’ve learned and the things they love about our school and my classroom, and a chance to air any grievances they might have.  In a very selfish way, it makes me feel good when they write nice things about me or bring up inside jokes from our classroom, or tell me that they’ve learned life skills that aren’t even about math.

It’s an idea I took from one of my field experience teachers at UNI that I will do every year that I teach because it’s just such a good end of year activity.  I tweak it slightly every year to make the questions more clear to what I want them to reflect on, but the overall gist stays the same.

The questions on the survey are:

  1. What did you learn in this classroom this year? What math concepts did you learn, what study strategies did you learn, what other random things did you learn through the course of our discussions and time together?
  2. What did you like and dislike about the COURSE (Sports Statistics, Algebra I, or Intermediate Math).  This should be specifically about the mathematics in the course, your textbook or assigned worksheets, etc.
  3. What did you like and dislike about Mid City in general, Miss Mastalio as a teacher, and the environment of the classroom? (You can be honest here, I will not be offended)
  4. Is there anything else you would like to tell me that doesn’t fit into one of the above questions?


I thought I’d share some of the statements that made me laugh, cry, or filled my heart this year.  I love these students so much and it’s always bittersweet at the end of the year to know that I won’t ever have this particular group of them together again.  They truly make my life so much richer by being in it.


Question 1:

“Even though some of the math problems [was] hard and difficult but with the help of you I got the understanding of it”

“Even though it was kind of difficult I pushed through it with help from Miss Mastalio”

“I went from always having a D to almost a B because I finally decided to get stuff done.”

“In testing, I learned not to stress out as much, to just let everything sink in and not think about it too much, also when you came across a difficult problem to skip it and then at the end go back.”

“I love the way you teach I feel like I really understand.”

“The Pythagorean Theorem was cool because Pythagoras was a murderer.” (okay, I may have told them stories about the Pythagoreans and how Pythagoras possibly had people killed who tried to claim their math findings for their own and they may have thought it was the most legit thing ever)

“I learned to keep trying because you never let me give up while being in your class.”


Question 2:

“What I really liked is when we would get assignments on the tables.” (I got this one several times, so it looks like that was a great idea)

“I found this course easy when I listened.”

“[when we went back and did the] 10.1 Rewind because she worked with us till the end because she had faith in us.”

“Some of the math gets to be a little hard to understand, but if [we] don’t understand it we just ask for help.”


Question 3:

“The stairs in the morning are 2 much” (I died laughing)

“Everyone is so understanding and helps out if you need it.”

“What I liked about Miss Mastalio was that she’s funny and easy to talk to.  This classroom was fun because of the people that were in it.” (did you hear that, I AM FUNNY!!!)

“Ms. Mastalio is really helpful and caring. She has also mastered the art of writing upside down. I’m glad she understands me and her other students.”

“I just don’t like Miss Mastalio at all.  She’s too annoying.  Nah, just playin’, she’s like my favorite teacher.”

“I like how Mid City has a daycare so I can bring my daughter and actually be able to come to school instead of having to drop out because of no place to have my daughter while I am at school.”

“Mid City is allowing me to graduate when I thought I wouldn’t be able to.”

“Teachers and staff really care and [are] there for you when you need help.”

“I like that I can be myself at Mid City”

“I like how everybody is friendly and gives you joy by caring.”


Question 4:

“I look forward to your class next year.”

“You should get a moped.  To me you just look like a teacher that rides a moped.” (okay, WHAT?!)

“That if it’s ok I want to come back to visit sometime…well A LOT!” (this one’s from a graduating senior and I really hope she does)


Author: missmastalio

Math teacher at an alternative high school. Living the best life.

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