Should teachers be graded?

Friday, 27 June 2014
Should teachers be graded?

Marco Abousleiman in Year 9 suggests introducing a dialogue between pupils and teachers and bringing in a ‘democratic vote’ to recognise the teachers who merit special recognition.

First given as a Soapbox address at Worth Debating Society, where pupils choose a topic on which to speak, the views expressed are personal opinions of the student…

Teachers are some of the most influential people in a person’s life. They let you achieve the full of your potential at the time and in the future.

Can you think of a teacher who went the extra mile for you, who was a true inspiration to a generation of children? These teachers should be rewarded for their gallant efforts of nurturing a person’s life. But sadly there can also be teachers who are not so great.

So that great teachers are recognised, I believe it would be suitable if they were given the same amount of rewards and care as students.

Interim reports are a great way for students to know how they are doing and can also show where improvements can be made. This system is very beneficial and is used throughout the educational world. Worth School also has rewards based on interims, for example here at Worth the Academic Endeavour Awards (AEA) congratulate you on how well you did during the term and inspire you to strive for higher. Since this system is so beneficial to students, then why can it not be used with teachers?

Of course with all new ideas there is a problem. Who will grade the teachers? I am aware that new teachers are ‘observed’ but I personally believe that this would not be a good system as everybody acts differently under pressure and, to be honest, the pressure of handling 20 people is already stomach-turning enough. So, then, who would grade the teachers?

It has been proven over history that democracy is one of (if not the) best ways to rule a country. Giving pupils the vote on whether they believe their teacher is using the right techniques or could use some constructive criticism can lead to a beneficial relationship of trust between the two parties.

One idea is that a covenant could be formed for the teacher to do something and in return the pupils will also help the teacher in some way, for example by not talking. The only problem is, who would get the vote?

I personally believe in this covenant of teachers and pupils whereby, for example, bronze AEA winners or above could participate. It would also mean that the pupils have to try just as hard as the teacher.

This can inspire students (in particular troublesome students who normally have the most to say about their teachers) to try harder in all of their subjects and gain the suitable AEA to vote. This would mean that they are able to experience the benefits of a society which follows the rules and are rewarded in consequence, instead of receiving lunchtime detentions as punishment when they do something wrong.

Some pupils want different things in the classroom though. This is why it might be better to encourage full class voting, so that many opinions are heard and true democracy is achieved. I don’t believe it is good enough in the current system if you wish for the teacher to change something, that the teacher will only hear from you and act on your individual request rather than the collective needs of the class.

For example, if you believe the teacher is taking too long to explain things and you would rather answer practice questions the same way as in the exam, it doesn’t mean others do too. Maybe the other pupils need more time to understand things properly. I understand that some teachers will not be thrilled by the idea of being graded, but it will help them improve in specific areas. It means the students will listen more and work harder as they will be more comfortable with the methods used. Teachers already run a marathon every day by teaching entire classes of children; it is worth going the extra mile to be remembered forever in the history books as not only a teacher but a great teacher or even a favourite teacher.

Overall I believe teachers should be graded, as both students and the teacher will gain from it. It allows teachers to have the evolved system of grading a student does, improve in their profession and one day become their dream teacher while the students will be completely comfortable in a learning environment that suits them. Thank you.

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