Should Students Be Allowed to Grade Their Teachers?


As many of us know and have realized over the year, both middle school and high school students can be the most objective people out there. Not necessarily in a bad way, but we don’t have a filter that catches us just yet. Highlands has something put in place in which the students evaluate their teachers at the end of the year and sometimes halfway through the year. But the question is, should we be able to do this? Is it actually helping the teachers?

This questionnaire for the students is very blunt in what is asked and what answers are available. For some students, they could have had one disagreement with the teacher and hated them the rest of the year; but even if the students end the class with an A, they’ll have a bad taste in their mouth when that teacher’s name is mentioned. The student’s biased feelings would ruin the goal of the teacher evaluations as the students wouldn’t really subjectively evaluate the teacher’s skills.

Moreover, students may feel one way towards the teacher and go off of their gut feeling, but in reality, they don’t have all the necessary information to “grade” them. Their knowledge of the teachers is minimal and limited in the assessment of information. Some students could even grade a teacher with too much credit. Teachers can, as some people put it, “have favorites.” These students are graded easier than the rest of the bunch because of a quality they have or a sport they play.

While students say they know who the “laid-back” teachers are, these evaluations are looking for the teacher’s ability to teach the kids; it’s not graded on if you like the teacher because they give you free time for you to watch Netflix, or to catch up one last night’s homework.

Even the amount of homework isn’t a valid reason to dislike the teacher or give them a bad evaluation. If a teacher makes you work for your grade, you should be thankful; most things after high school, and in the real world, are not just given to you. You have to work for what you want or else you will never get it.

Still, I guess it could honestly be seen both ways. The evaluations, while they may be biased, could have some helpful feedback hidden inside. Teachers could know what they are doing right, as well as what they are doing wrong.

All in all, if a student dislikes a teacher for whatever reason – even if it doesn’t concern their ability to teach well – their evaluations will reflect that. We’re biased. That’s the keyword.