The latest idea is having students grade the teachers. They will give them a grade for a number of criteria, such as: does the teacher put up objectives? Does the teacher have high expectations? Does the teacher tackle discrimination in class?
In theory, this is a good idea. Learners should be comfortable in a classroom. In reality, learners have a very different idea of a 'good' teacher in comparison to staff, parents or managers.
A teacher's idea of a good teacher
- Cares about the students
- Will go above and beyond to support learners to achieve (but not do the work for them - which requires some interest and commitment from the students)
- Is fair
- Has a good sense of humour and good communication (I accept - not all teachers value this but I very much do)
- Learners know that if they do their best, they have done enough
- Commitment to help the student when they ask for help
- Takes time to learn about the students personally
- Know your students and how they are coping with each lesson and whether or not they understand the teaching
- Adapt to help students
A manager's idea of a good teacher
- All students pass
- Lessons finish on time
- Students always follow college rules
- Everything students do is tracked
- Keep clear records of EVERYTHING
- Do endless amounts of admin
- Never lets students use their phones in class
A student's idea of a good teacher
- Lets students leave early
- Chats to students about things they're interested in
- Doesn't mind if they get their phones out
- Lets them break the rules and mess around
- Doesn't tell them off
What do we do about it? Offer support to teachers? Give them a different set of standards to live up to? I think we need to accept the difficulties in evaluating teachers and create an attainable set of criteria. We also need to help teachers to enjoy their jobs rather than growing to resent them. The continual criticism and pressure becomes hard to take.
Are you a teacher? How do you feel about this?
If you're not a teacher - do you think you could have fairly assessed your teachers when you were in education?