Miss Trunchbull from Matilda. Mr. Vernon from The Breakfast Club. The incredibly boring economics teacher in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. These teachers are examples in pop culture of instructors who fall short of stellar. What is most unfortunate, however, is that the schools may never know how truly awful these teachers are at their jobs. If teachers can grade their students by giving homework, quizzes and tests, why can’t the students grade their teachers, even if it’s as simple as a class survey?
While it may seem like an odd concept, the act of grading a teacher isn’t new. Plenty of teachers around both this school and the country often hand out semester-end surveys to assess how they did and how they can improve. The problem with this is that only the teacher giving the survey is guaranteed to see it, which is a problem if the teacher has an inflated ego or sees no issue with their style of teaching. While I can’t be sure, I’m willing to bet that some teachers may not even look at their surveys, or at least not very many.
The main problem lies with the administration and the county, as they are usually unable to tell how a teacher’s class is performing and what their students think of them. Sure, test scores can be an indicator of the teacher’s success in their job, but even so, it is incredibly difficult to remove a teacher without good reason. This is why there needs to be a school sponsored survey for each teacher.
At the end of every semester, there should be a day in which students go from class to class taking a brief, anonymous survey about their teacher. If the teacher is doing a good job and has the respect of his or her students, there should be no issue. Obviously some teachers will have students with personal vendettas against them, but as long as the majority of students are in agreement, that is most likely the general feeling toward the teacher. If a student feels negatively about a teacher, they must provide an explanation. This prevents kids who think the teacher is mean because they took their phone away one time from really damaging the teacher’s reputation. This survey will be completely anonymous, even to the teachers, and will only be brought up to them if there is a serious problem in the results.
While sites like ratemyteacher.com exist, students will often read the reviews more for entertainment. I, personally, have never found a review that I would deem credible. No professional working in the school district would ever carry the reviews with weight as well. It wouldn’t be hard to implement a system where the student’s voices mattered, and as we can tell from the recent push for gun control, students are more powerful than the general public give us credit for. We are a force to be reckoned with, and this is just another example of an easy opportunity for the county to show the students that they really do care about them.