opinion: RateMyTeachers.com disservices students and teachers alike
Henri Robbins | Staff Writer
When you got your class schedule, you were probably inclined to ask other students which teachers were good or bad.
Most likely you got a range from “I loved their class!” to “I couldn’t stand the way they taught,” with a bunch of answers along the lines of “I haven’t had them, but…” mixed in.
So often, students will assume that a teacher is good or bad solely off of what other students say, without experiencing their class or teaching style for themselves. Rumors are then spread that are usually off the mark or baseless, since the majority of students who speak negatively of a class are ones who barely try, or challenge the teacher on every point.
This game of telephone that amplifies horror stories throughout the school is often worsened by the site ‘RateMyTeachers’, where students can review and score any teacher they have. This website has the same issue as any other form of online reviewer: it accentuates the outliers.
A large amount of feedback will either be extremely praiseful or completely disparaging, since the people who have been impacted the most by a subject or issue tend to actually write about it. This means the views of outlying students are the ones which are the most prominent.
This issue of students discrediting teachers isn’t just something superficial, it contributes to the student body’s distaste for school.
Students who dread a teacher’s class before they even get into it will stubbornly keep this negative mindset throughout the year. Many students dislike education in general, and while our educational system has its share of flaws, so much of what they dislike is based upon these hyperbolized presumptions.
While I am not arguing that every student will love every one of their classes if they go in without any secondhand opinions, it would certainly allow them to be more likely to enjoy a class if they avoid the bandwagoning and draw from their own experiences.
This school year is still young; there’s still time to branch out to your teachers before confining youself to misery.