Eye of the Editors: Rating Teachers

It may be hard for the administration to accept, but even at a school as accomplished as Diamond Bar High School, there are bad teachers. Many times, the issues students have with teachers are not important enough to require serious action. Even so, listening to these complaints could dramatically improve the quality of teaching at our school.

A simple system in which the administration seriously considers and reviews feedback from students regarding their teachers would be an improvement to the administration’s current disregard of student opinion.

Too often at DBHS we hear students in distress over their teachers. There are the times that these complaints can be reduced to the daily whining of high school students; however, there are serious issues behind them. How many times do students need to complain about unfair grading policies or a lack of teaching for administration to act upon it?

In most jobs, when an employee is not performing well, they are fired. While in schools this may be difficult because of tenure, an effort should be made to ameliorate poor performance.

The opinion of students in regards to their teachers seems to be completely arbitrary in the eyes of administration. This is ironic seeing how the performance of these teachers most directly affects students. It seems as if deans are much more willing to feign ignorance than to address any issues with teachers.

A system needs to be created in which students are able to submit reviews of their teachers. For example, several students from each teacher, all with varying grades, could be randomly selected to give a holistic review of the teacher. Alternatively, a panel of students could  be formed to review submissions from the rest of the student body. These submissions would be turned in before the end of grading periods, so that biases do not form based on grades. The panel would be responsible for making sure that the comments are truthful and valid.  

On top of these student evaluations, deans should also take more initiative in checking in on teachers. The sit-ins that deans currently conduct are few and scattered. Additionally, the teachers are often given notice in advance, allowing them to prepare for visits. Students will find that their teacher’s daily routine has suddenly become a lot more interactive, or they are doing activities that have never been seen before in the classroom on those days. Therefore, random checks should be instituted.

It is understandable that DBHS has many teachers and it may be difficult to keep track of them all. However, the trouble is worth it, especially in an institution in which education is the main goal.

Inadequate teachers do not characterize the majority of the staff at DBHS, who are dedicated to their jobs and care deeply about helping their students. But even the best teachers can benefit from student feedback and apply it to continuous improvement in the classroom.