If teachers can grade students, students should grade teachers

Gabbie Byers, Journalism I Class

We all know how it goes: the students take the test and the teachers grade us, but who gets to grade the teachers? Should it be a school administrator, who might sit in their class for 30 minutes or less, or a student who spends an hour a day with that teacher?

Grades are tremendously important to students. There is huge pressure to get good grades; so much so that it feels like school isn’t even about learning anymore, it’s all about getting an A on the next test and then moving on to studying for the next one as soon as possible, basically guaranteeing that you’ll forget everything from the first test until you start to panic about it at finals time. Students get graded on what they do every single day in class, and our grades can affect what college we go to and what job we get. Grades determine our future. If the grades teachers give have so much weight on students’ lives, they should at least be able to reflect on the job their teachers are doing.

Usually when a student receives a bad grade, the blame is put on them. One way or another, from not studying enough to failing to read carefully, they “earned” the grade they got. Why can’t anyone look at the teachers? Maybe the teacher simply didn’t teach that subject well. Maybe they didn’t recognize the individual ways their students learn and teach in a way that they could understand. Maybe they never even checked to make sure that everyone understood. Maybe they never cared.

Students, when was the last time you were asked, “are you being taught well enough?” Teachers giving their students the opportunity to reflect on how they are doing their jobs could help them improve and maybe even get a few new ideas about teaching. The students would do better in the class and also feel more respected and cared about. Maybe student opinions about their teachers could even factor in to a teacher’s evaluation from the principal.

Our teachers tell us all the time that school is supposed to prepare us for the “real world.” Even students know that in the real world, just because you can get and keep a job doesn’t mean that you’re good at it. It’s time teachers faced the realities of the “real world” and were graded by the people who interact with them the most: their students.