OPINION: Students should be able to evaluate their teachers

INFOGRAPHIC: Just as teachers evaluate students throughout the year, students should be able to evaluate teachers.

By Talullah Manghise,

BlueDevilHUB.com Staff–

All year long, teachers are asked to evaluate students. They evaluate the quality of homework, the accuracy of tests and the behavior of their pupils, so why can’t students evaluate them in return?

Students are graded on their efficiency, their productivity, their participation and their knowledge of a subject. These are all aspects of learning that teachers should have mastered as well.

By looking at a student’s grades, one can get an idea of how skilled a student is in each of these respective categories, but there is no such system to measure the capability of a teacher to succeed in these areas.

Though this is not the case at most high schools, at most universities students fill out teacher evaluation forms at the end of each term. Teachers are graded by students on their levels of knowledge, efficiency, empathy and overall classroom management.

This is especially necessary at the college level, since many professors are tenured–essentially guaranteed jobs regardless of performance–but teacher evaluations would also be beneficial at the high school level.

Particularly at the high school level, there can be a discrepancy in the difficulty of one course based on the teacher, so evaluations could help level the rigor of different sections of the same class, thus leveling the playing field for students.

Opponents of teacher evaluations may claim that high school students are too immature to properly evaluate the performance of their teachers and will write responses in joking manners or be unnecessarily harsh. To avoid this, many universities only review the median evaluations for each teacher to weed out needlessly positive and negative responses.

The job of the teacher is to serve the student, and if the teacher performs inadequately, it should be the job of the student to ensure that teachers are properly and efficiently educating their pupils. This would help foster a more positive, fair and productive learning environment at Davis High.

In fact, teacher evaluations are a surefire way to put on a teacher’s radar what they need to work on to improve their teaching. According to Education Week, a study examining data from five school districts found, for example, that of teachers who scored in the bottom 20 percent of rankings in one year, only 20 to 30 percent had similar ratings the next year, while 25 to 45 percent of these teachers moved to the top part of the distribution, scoring well above average.

As educators, teachers have one of the most important jobs in our society. It is imperative that teachers, those tasked with the duty to raise the next generation of leaders, thinkers, and doers, do their job well, and allowing students to evaluate their instructors is one way to ensure the success of the rising generation.

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