Students need more opportunities to assess teachers

Natalia Habas, Editor-in-Chief

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Learning is supposed to be meant for everyone. Students who are on the receiving end of the learning are constantly getting graded and assessed on their performance for improvement.

But what about teachers? What about teachers who are supposed to be passionate about learning? How are they learning and improving?

Sometimes, there might be a few teachers out there who aren’t consistently ask students for feedback to improve their teaching, and students need the opportunity to provide that feedback.

Some might think that asking the class, “Are you guys doing okay with this?” counts as feedback. Aside from questions like that, some teachers should do more to get feedback from students.

Giving students the opportunity and ability to grade their teachers could allow them to share how they learn best and how they will be most successful in the class.

Sure, teachers get evaluated on their performance by the administration, but what teachers aren’t learning is what their students need.

The purpose of administration evaluations are to judge a “teacher’s performance based on a student-integrated rubric,” according to Mark Heintz, a social studies teacher at Elk Grove High School.

Teachers are evaluated by administrators, many schools are still looking for better ways to assess their teachers. According to Education Week, teacher evaluation systems traditionally “relied heavily on classroom observations conducted by principals or other school administrators.” However, that kind of evaluation doesn’t cover the student’s perspective of teaching.

Although some teachers may ask students to fill out a survey at the end of a quarter or semester for feedback, it doesn’t change the fact that teachers might have no idea if what they’re doing throughout the school year is working for their classes. How is it useful for the teacher to know that they should’ve been doing something different when the quarter or semester or school year is over?

Teachers could take that information and use it for the following school year, yet there’s no promise that it will work because all students learn differently. Heintz, who has been a teacher at Elk Grove for 14 years, asks his students for feedback on his teaching throughout the school year. He has found it very beneficial in his teaching and his students’ learning Heintz uses the feedback he receives for “future lesson plans and the next class.”

Some people would say that students don’t necessarily know what “good teaching” looks like, therefore they can’t accurately grade either teachers. Although students might not understand what it’s like to teach, they do understand what it’s like to learn.

Of course, some would say students aren’t mature enough to accurately evaluate their teachers without having age, immaturity and grudges playing a part. But that only means that student evaluations would have to be specific towards the audience.

By students having the opportunity to grade teachers, teachers could gain constructive criticism that they should care about.

Ultimately, allowing students to grade teachers would be beneficial all around. By giving kids the opportunity to grade teachers, everyone would be learning.

Isn’t that what school is all about?

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