Teachers should be graded by students

We should be able to rate our educators and their methods of teaching


By Alexandria Buchanan

An example of what a “report card” for teachers looks like.

Alexandria Buchanan, editor

Until  graduation, we students are graded daily on the work we do, our attitudes, attendance and responsibility. The tables should be turned. Students should be able to grade their teachers. I’m sure everyone has had a teacher they couldn’t help but think, “How did you become a teacher?” When we have classes we don’t want to attend, we tend to not want to work as hard and that causes our grades to suffer.  We can’t force interest in some classes or for certain teachers.

Students are already given a survey for a couple of their teachers once a year. These surveys ask a number of questions about what happens in class including things like “Does your class feel like a happy family?” or “Do you ever feel angry in this class?” Why don’t we get to write a survey for all of our teachers, and why don’t our results affect anything that happens in the class?

Although I believe that many teachers care about their job and can do a great job teaching students there are still teachers that don’t seem to care or show little care at all. Teachers would either pass with flying colors or fail.

This would not only be fair, but beneficial towards the education of the students. Everyone always tells us that education is very important and is the foundation to our future but if we aren’t getting the necessary teaching to get a proper education, we don’t get the opportunity to reach our full potential.

One of the main reasons  a teacher may have an issue with being graded by their students might be because they are worried that they didn’t do their job correctly and they don’t want to face the consequences of being rated poorly. Teachers should not have a problem with being graded if they are giving their best efforts and the students are learning in their classes. It’s like when students who don’t do their work get their report cards. They feel worried because they know they’ve failed or gotten a really low grade.

When students fail or get bad grades, we usually get punished in some way either by parents, coaches, etc. If a teacher failed the survey they should face consequences depending on the severity of their “grades.” For example, if they have a couple of students who give very poor grades while the majority of the class gives a good score, they wouldn’t be punished in any way because they have decent grades with very little conflict. Of course if there are small issues that should be addressed, they will be, but besides that the teacher will be fine.

If the teacher gets a majority of bad grades, they will need to find a way to fix the issues and if they can’t get their grades up they get punished with something as small as extra work, such as a “teacher detention” of sorts, to something as severe as getting put on probation or being fired.

This may seem severe and unnecessary f, but the amount of high school dropouts and failing students is high. Over 1.2 million students drop out every year. Although the students are just as responsible for their education, it all starts at the foundation of our learning, which is our teachers. If we don’t want to be in a class because we don’t feel that the teacher has our best interest at heart, we won’t try our best and it will affect us. We can’t get what we need done and we won’t feel comfortable asking for help.

This “grading” system will help our educators and administrators see things that they never had access to previously. The students will be able to explain what happens in their classes and the problems they have can be addressed and solved. Our education is very important. If there are alternatives to help students with their future and get the best out of their education, we should take these opportunities.

This article place third for editorial in the public school division of the 2017 Hawaii High School Journalism Award Content.