Students Grading Teachers?

How would you feel if you could grade your science or math teacher? Teachers today grade their students on homework assignments and tests, but what if students were able to take a survey to grade their teachers? The quality of educators varies from state to state; therefore, by having these student evaluations it can help ensure that they are getting the education they deserve. Giving students the opportunity to evaluate their own teachers will provide constructive criticism on classroom instruction.
In Georgia’s North Fulton County school system, schools allow their students to grade their teachers on an electronic survey once a year. This policy of students reviewing their teachers allows for a more connected environment between teachers, administrators, and students. In these surveys, students are asked a series of questions with options ranging from disagree to strongly agree. The survey poses questions such as the following: Does your teacher respect you? Does your teacher teach the lessons effectively? Does your teacher incorporate current events in their lessons? These questions are intended to analyze not only the teacher’s ability to teach, but also their attitude in the classroom. In North Fulton County, these surveys are taken very seriously; consequently, there are penalties if teachers do not reach a certain standard based on student surveys and administrator’s observation scores. These results reveal to administrators who is doing an exceptionally good job.
What if South Huntington accepted student surveys on teachers? When I asked a few students from Whitman how they would feel if they could grade their teachers, Grace D’souza said she’d “like it.¨ Students at Whitman are open to the idea of grading teachers because they’d like to give feedback on teaching styles that are not effective for everyone. I asked Sarah Guan, a friend from Georgia, whether she feels the student surveys given out in The Fulton County school district are beneficial. She immediately responded ¨yes¨ because ¨it creates a better learning environment.¨
It is important to note the many concerns with conducting a student survey in schools to rate teachers. Many worry about the report’s accuracy because there’s nothing stopping a student from giving a teacher a bad report if they dislike the teacher for silly reasons. Another popular concern is whether the students are answering honestly. The truth is, nothing limits a student from hitting disagree for all of the questions; however, Georgian students who do take these surveys are well aware that these surveys are taken seriously to evaluate their teachers and most want to have effective teachers. When sophomore Anna Scortachini was asked for her thoughts on grading teachers, she said students should in “some way” be able to grade teachers “considering some teachers may not be getting through to some students”. Overall, if students were able to grade their teachers based on their ability to teach and present themselves in a classroom it would have positive effects on not only the students, but on the teachers and school itself.
Conducting student surveys allows administrators to see how diligent and effective their faculty is. Having student surveys to evaluate teachers would be very beneficial to any school district that decides to enforce this new policy because it gives administrators more insight on their teachers and staff, allowing for an improved quality of education for students. Walt Whitman and the South Huntington School district should give students the opportunity to grade their teachers’ performance. Administrators may even be surprised by the consensus is for certain teachers.