Teaching Tips from Students


In the beginning of
every new school year, I always try to get to know my students as best as I
can. One of the ways I get to know my students is by having them complete a
student survey that asks a lot of telling questions (what their biggest
accomplishment is, who lives at home with them, and what their motto is). I
keep these surveys handy throughout the first few weeks of a new school year,
and I constantly refer back to them to find out more about each student.

One of the most
telling questions on my Back to School Survey for Secondary Students provides
me with invaluable information about what each student needs in order to be
successful in my class.  Every year, I ask my students what I can do to
help them be more successful in my classroom.

The vast majority of
students answer this question genuinely. However, I usually have a few students
respond with answers like, “no homework,” and “buy me donuts.” When students
really take this question to heart though, their answers provide me with so
much insight and push me as their teacher to be a more effective educator.  

After reading 100+ responses to this question, I compiled some of the most helpful and insightful student responses. Yes, they are our students and we are their teachers, but we can definitely learn from our students. All we have to do is be willing to ask and listen.

So, here is what
students want us to know. Here is what students say we as teachers can do to
help them succeed in our classrooms.


  • “What you can do to
    help me be successful is explain every single topic and lesson with great
  • “Explain things in
    different ways.”
  • “Don’t go too fast
    when teaching.”
  • “When I write an
    essay, read [it] and give feedback. Push me to do better. Make it fun to be
  • “You can offer help
    and make the lesson easier if it is hard, or wait [until] everyone has got it.
    Then move on.”
  • “Please stay on top
    of me no matter how small the assignment. I will procrastinate.”
  • “Announce important
    dates so I can’t forget.”
  • “Being supportive and
    understanding would help me a lot.”
  • “Help me catch my
    mistakes and correct them.”
  • “Do reviews before a
    test or major quiz.”
  • “Be understanding.
    Try and be in my footsteps because I have a lot of responsibilities.”
  • “Explain clearly what
    we are doing.”
  • “Something you can do
    is call on me for any question in order for me to learn.”
  • “Teach me well, push
    me to do my best, and make things interesting. That is my way of learning.
  • “Well I don’t usually
    understand when people give directions the first time, so I will ask a lot of
  • “Thoroughly explain
    assignments, help us with essays, and be fun.”
  • “Try to break down
    the lessons so I or we can understand.”
  • “Listen to what the
    student has to say and put yourself in their shoes.”
  • “You can always tell
    me right away what I’m missing or what OI need to do if my grade is going

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This question is on my FREE Back-to-School Student survey. You can download it for free HERE!




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