By Milan Lu
How many teachers have you come across so far who you thought were way too mean or not efficient enough in explaining lessons? Teachers grading the performance of their students are what have determined the progress and knowledge levels of students for decades. So should the same principle be used by students to grade their teacher? Students are the future generation that will lead our country and as such it is their duty and right to be educated properly.
If the students aren’t taught properly it’s a waste of their time and effort and it could be a hindrance for their future studies as well. Regular government inspections are held in government and semi government schools but are they really effective since teachers mostly get their students to fill out their books and prepare for these inspections well before in time. So if a system to grade the educators were introduced what would be the pros and cons?
If this system were to be introduced the schools administrative staff and the teacher’s themselves can get to know what the students think about the teaching methods being used in the class room. They can evaluate how well the teachers are capable of getting through to the students making them understand the content of the lessons. The level of satisfaction the students feel can be clearly evaluated. Good teachers whom the students feel are doing a great job will be motivated to continue their methods of teaching. It will also expose the educators who are not doing enough intentionally or unintentionally. The results of this evaluation can lead to them correcting themselves and their teaching methodologies. The quality of teaching can be greatly improved in this way.
There are Many times when students have problems with a teacher’s attitude but cannot do or say anything about it since the quality of teaching the teacher provides would overshadow any personal matters. The teacher could either be picking on a certain group or individual student or may be looking down or discouraging an entire class by comparing them to another class. Such matters can be brought to light through this exercise and changes can be made to provide a more professional educational experience for the students.
The biggest problem everyone has about this system is whether the students are mature enough to evaluate their teachers properly. Their definition of a good teacher may be too superficial. Depending on the amount of homework given, how easy the tests set by them are, the leniency of the marking, their appearance, temper and other things that appeal to the students could make the teacher a “favourite” but it doesn’t actually say how effective their teaching is.
Grading teachers may become a threat to them and the teachers may change their attitudes towards the students just to get a higher grade that may even determine the stability of their job. They may focus more on the grading they get and focus less on the lessons that they teach. Giving the students the power to grade their teachers can be both corruptive as well since they may misuse the system to their advantage. They may lose respect for their teachers and the students may use this to threaten the teachers to be more lenient on their grades or to overlook misconduct. Giving a bad grade could also result in the student being penalized by the teacher in some cases. Fear of such a matter happening may also make students give insincere high grades for certain teachers.
With certain conditions and modifications this system can be made useful and free of faults.
- Minimum age limit—Grading should be done by students who are above 10 years of age since those who are less than 10 may not understand the process very well.
- Stating reasons— Students should be asked to mention the reasons for giving the grades to respective teachers. This way, students will be more inclined to answer sincerely and the insincere grades can be rejected when evaluating.
- Parental involvement—The Grading process should include the parents to be part of it as the reflection of the parents’ wisdom in the grades will make the system more meaningful. Their participation will help the students be more responsible towards the whole procedure.
Setting up parameters is a very important fact that needs to be considered. This includes behaviour (helping or rude), language (polite or abusive), temper, the way in which the class is kept disciplined, punctuality, utilization of time, paying attention to the whole class and not some students in particular and fair attitude to all students. A detailed grading system should ensure that all relevant points are reported and problematic areas are brought to notice in a specific and direct way. That way the entire score of the teacher will not suffer because of one wrong characteristic.
It will also be easy for the teachers to recognize that characteristic and correct it by improving upon their methods. The school administration should also see that they are able to distinguish between what is right from wrong among the feedback.
When the students, parents and the school head collectively and responsibly grade the teachers in a fair way this promising concept will yield surprisingly good results.