The student newspaper of Honolulu Community College

What I wish my teachers knew …. a survey

By Mariah Tinay
Ka La staff writer

Students at Honolulu Community College want their teachers to know that they are really appreciated.

But they also want those teachers to know that the students live busy, complicated lives and deserve to be cut a little slack sometimes.

That’s some of the key takeaways from a survey last semester that gave students a chance to share “what I wish my teachers knew.”

And more than 1,000 students on all UH schools took advantage of that opportunity, online and in person on campus. More than 150 of those responses came from HonCC students. The results give a broad ideas for how teachers could better connect with their students.

During the Fall 2018 semester, the staff at Hon CC used public space to encourage communication between students and teachers, said Cassandra Kam, a disability specialist at HonCC and one of the organizers of the effort, which was inspired by a national campaign started by elementary school teacher Candy Chang.

A sampling of the results gives an idea of what students were most concerned about:

  • “I appreciate the free online textbooks, and so does my bank account.”
  • “Sometimes I am too shy to ask for help.”
  • “My look means I’m lost. Slow down.”
  • “Fix the roads.”

The goal of the survey, sponsored by the Wo Learning Champions group, was to provide students with an opportunity to express their challenges and aspirations and to give students a chance to build bridges with others, and increase awareness for everyone about the factors that define and shape student success, Kam said.

The results were categorized by, time, online/ learning management systems, group work, and personal life.

When it came to teaching methods, students said they wanted teachers to know their names, create a classroom routine and post lecture notes in Laulima ahead of the class time.

And when considering their personal lives, students said they want more low-cost teaching resources. They also like when teachers provide some food in their classroom or office space.

And time management drew a lot of comments:  Students said they want time to talk to their teachers one-on-one  and to work on group projects in class.  They also want teachers to be clear about expectations and help students map out their work schedules.


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