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Should Students Evaluate Teachers?
Jason Reuter
Wednesday, March 31, 2021

 Students should be allowed to evaluate their teachers in some form. When asked the question, ¨should students be given the ability to formally evaluate their teachers?¨  teachers usually respond with one of two answers: yes, because I want to know where my strong and weak points are, or, no, I do not give out eval forms, because I feel that the students do not take them seriously, sometimes even choosing to use them to insult or bash me.

Both arguments contain valid points. Potosi school district does not require teachers to have students evaluate them, so each teacher has to decide whether or not they allow their students to formally evaluate them.

Instead, several teachers were surveyed to see if they would be willing to give their students the opportunity to formally evaluate them. Everyone said yes, which begs the question, why are they not already doing it? Are they afraid of their students’ responses, is it that the idea never comes up, or do they believe that a student does not need a formal evaluation sheet to tell them what they are doing right or wrong?

General consensus is that teachers do not fear their students’ responses, but they still choose to give evaluations minimally because they do not have the time to sort through the responses of sixty or more students. 

To combat the lack of time, one teacher suggested digitizing the surveys; that way the computer could sort through and organize the data. Personally, I like this idea, especially the part where the surveys would be given more often, but this digitizing them would cause the surveys to become less anonymous, inviting the fear from students of being singled out.

To summarize, teachers are receptive to the idea of being evaluated by students, but only rarely. The main reason for the rarity of the student evaluations is the amount of time it takes to sort through the amount of data revealed in them. This time-consuming process could be shortened by digitizing the surveys, at the cost of anonymity, which could cause the results to be skewed.