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When is it ok to grade a teacher?

March 18, 2016

Every parent dreams that their child will be born some sort of a prodigy that brings home straight A’s and grows up to become an astrophysicist or neurosurgeon, but this often isn’t the case. The grades a student receives in high school often paves their road towards either success or failure, which really puts a lot of stress on not only the student but also those who are teaching them, or so you would think. When a child fails a class, naturally one would put the blame on the student for not knowing and practicing the topic that they were being tested on, but what if they were never properly taught? This brings forward the question: What if teachers aren’t properly doing their jobs and what can we do about it?
We’ve all had that teacher that seems to fulfill our learning criteria perfectly and makes us feel as if we’ll pass every single test that they throw at us. With a teacher like this, students obviously are much more likely to get better grades since they know the material much better. Although it would be ideal to have a teacher like this for every subject, it usually never ends up like that. There is always a dud teacher that never teaches the material properly, almost as if they don’t even care. When a teacher of this sort comes along, a student may feel as if there is no hope in getting a good grade in this class. It leaves them feeling hopeless and worried about their futures. Not only is this completely detrimental to a student’s GPA, but also their motivation to try in a class that is almost impossible to pass. A teacher’s job is to teach, not give out tests and watch students fail. Teachers of this sort need to receive some sort of punishment for their lack of motivation to do their jobs properly. One way to solve this problem is by allowing students to “grade” their teachers and let them know what they are doing wrong. This survey wouldn’t completely terminate a teacher’s career, rather it would be used as motivation to teach their students better. As stated by Mooney, a man who has worked in the education field for over 30 years, “Such survey results should be used by the teacher or principal as formative data to be used by the administrator to inform and improve their practice, not as part of the calculation of their rating” (Mooney). There is also the problem of teachers not treating students fairly for a multitude of reasons. Whatever the reason, there is absolutely no justification for discriminating against a student, and administrators should know about these problems. If students are able to grade teachers and give them feedback, the teachers may be able to change what they are doing wrong. Not only should the teachers have to read this feedback, but also the administrators so that they ensure that the teachers changes what they are doing wrong. When the teachers receive the positive or negative reviews, they will be much more motivated to try harder to ensure their students are learning. “In preliminary findings released over the past few years, the MET study suggested both student achievement and classroom observation be given strong weight in judging the effectiveness of teachers” (Mooney).  As Mooney stated, students opinions will allow faculty and administrators to decide if a teacher is teaching effectively.
Although, in my opinion, grading teachers is a great idea, there are others who oppose. A couple reasons include that fact that students may not have the knowledge and ability to grade teachers leading to problems. Students may also take the survey as a joke, just to get the teacher in some sort of trouble. Although there are these slight problems, the positives outweigh the negatives by far in my opinion. I believe that a student learning the material properly and helping them succeed is so much more important that a teacher’s ego.
With grades having such a huge impact on a student’s future, how they get their grades is incredibly important. To get a good grade, one must learn the topic and fully understand it, but with a teacher that is unwilling to teach properly, there is absolutely no way to fully understand the topic. Teachers, in my opinion, shouldn’t get to slack and completely ruin a student’s GPA for whatever reason it may be. It is completely inexcusable. A student’s opinion must be valued, especially if that opinion concerns their future. Allowing students to grade their teachers will help not only the teacher, but also the student and their futures in the long run. 


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