Teachers, Here’s Your Semester Report Card

Generally speaking, all students have wanted to rate their teacher – No matter if it is a good or bad rating, we have all wanted to give our opinions at some point. But where are we allowed to do that? Right now, there really is no place that students are allowed to give opinions to their teachers.

Shouldn’t students be able to give their opinions on teachers, or would doing this only allow students to lie about teachers in hopes of a better grade or better teacher?

Now I am not saying that we give out teachers homework and grade them on that, but maybe at the end of the week or even when finishing out a quarter, we should have the opportunity to share our opinions on how our teacher has been doing in the class. This would all have to be anonymous of course and be intended as a way for teachers to see how all of their students are feeling about class.

Let’s start on the positive aspects: students were able to give their anonymous opinions to teachers, they would be able to safely express how they actually feel without feeling like they are exposing themselves. We have all had our counselors tell us that we can say anything to them about teachers, or write emails in hope of change. But no one really wants to do that, no one wants to openly show their opinions on a teacher that they don’t like.

If the process were anonymous, more students would feel safe to give their opinions about this topic, and teachers would be able to learn from responses. If teachers could hear all of their students’ requests and problems with a class, they would be able to better their class for the students and provide a safer and learning environment preferable for all the students. If teachers actually took these responses seriously, they would be able to find their biggest flaws in teaching and eliminate them.

Additionally, this would allow students to show teachers how they personally like to learn, and how they might improve in the class if it was just slightly different. This would also hopefully help students in the future because if one student has a complaint about a teacher, there’s always the chance more students in the future will have the exact same complaints. If the teachers are never able to hear how students think the class could be better, they will never grow as teachers, and students will never be able to show them what they think could be done differently.

Possible negatives: If students were able to anonymously tell teachers what they think would be better for the classroom, it could be very easily abused. There would be nothing stopping students from lying and telling teachers things that are not true or things that would not help students’ learning at all. There is also nothing stopping students from submitting multiple forms. Doing this would ruin the point and make teachers not sure if they should trust the responses or not.

Another struggle is that students might just not want to step out of their comfort zone and do it. You can not force the students to review their teachers, and if the students don’t take it seriously and show teachers ways that their teaching could be better, nothing will improve.

Some students also might not trust that this process is fully anonymous. The relationship between students and teachers is not always positive, and if the student thinks that the teacher will find out what they said and confront them about it, they will not want to respond.

Would being able to rate out teachers provide good feedback and make our schools better, or would it just turn to chaos and put more weight on teachers to please everyone? Would we be able to trust all students to reply to these surveys honestly, or would the student responses not be trustworthy enough for this? I think that we as students should be able to rate our teachers, because if done correctly, the amount of feedback the teachers would get, and how they would be able to edit their classwork to ensure every students is getting the best learning experience they can would be beneficial to almost all students.