Should Students Be Able to Grade Their Teachers
Updated: Feb 25
By Brad Miller
Have you ever struggled in a class and felt like there was nothing else you could do? Did you try tutoring, asking classmates for help or even pleaded with a teacher for extra credit but received no help?
In the classroom, the teacher is in a position of power, therefore, students receive the blame for their grades.
However, this may not always be true. The teacher should be evaluated by students and the assessments should be taken very seriously.
If the class has just taken an exam and the average grade was an "F", the professor should realize that the class as a whole isn't understanding the lesson at hand. Brian Gatens, a superintendent from Concordia University, said, "You have to respond when a student fails. A non-response, or, even worse, a lackadaisical attitude, encourages the student not to care about the grade. Attention is oxygen to a child, so a strong response from you will reinforce the importance of succeeding in the classroom."
Just following the textbook for a class, doing lesson after lesson isn't being a teacher. If a few students are struggling then spending multiple classes trying to catch them up to the rest of the class may not be necessary. However, if the majority of your students are failing large assessments, as a teacher you need to self-reflect. Maybe spend a class revisiting material that was already taught instead of charging ahead and confusing the students that were already behind.
People learn better when they're engaged. Teachers that have good relationships with their students have more passing scholars. Myles Lewis, a writer for the Daily Advertiser said, "The more teachers and students are on the same page, the more the environment in the classroom improves. The class can go from being a sleeping place to a place of vibrant discussions and lectures."
Having a class that isn't fun to attend makes it hard for students to stay awake throughout the entire period. As a teacher, you aren't doing your job if half of your class is unconscious or not paying attention during class.
At Rochester University, course evaluations are given to the students at the end of the semester. Once completed the Registrar collects them then proceeds to send the assessments to all of the professors.
Naomi Walters, a professor at Rochester University said, "I think the evals are helpful in letting me know how students are experiencing the course meetings, assignments, expectations and so on. To that end, the ‘text boxes’ in the evals are more helpful [to me] than the numerical rating portions."
In a school, you don't want to keep professors who aren't completing their jobs to the fullest. If a teacher received poor feedback from students and the majority of the class had bad grades in a rather simple course then that particular teacher may not be instructing in an efficient way.
While the feedback should be analyzed properly, it is important to pay attention to certain consistencies in the data. For instance, if a student failed a class and gave the teacher a poor assessment the teacher probably wasn't the issue. This would not solve all of the issues that America has in its education system. However, giving the students more power is important because only the students know how efficiently they're being taught a certain subject.