Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What if Students Graded Teachers?

By Mary Robinson Reynolds, M.S., Re-posted from makeadifference.com

So What if Students Graded Teachers?

The top 2 concerns most Principals and Superintendents share with me are: 1) how to motivate disinterested, disconnected, disruptive, angry students to want to learn and 2) how to deal with ineffective, reactionary, "difficult" teachers (and parents) without conflict, confrontation and intense, community-wide backlash?

I'm Just Asking: What if Students Graded Teachers on Quarterly Report Cards (anonymously for safety purposes) on the following:

1. Teacher delivery.
2. Teacher knowledge of subject.
3. Teacher attitude toward me as their student.
4. Teacher's attitude toward class as a whole.
5. Teacher's willingness to teach me until I understand.
6. Teacher's willingness to provide a safe social emotional classroom for me to learn in.
7. Teacher's willingness to play well and get along with others.

What if Teachers graded Principals, and Principals graded Superintendents - anonymously? What if Parents graded Teachers, Principals and Superintendents? Scary, eh? Well, we'd certainly know specifically what we needed to improve upon within the entire educational system. In reality, everybody is being graded anyway, and the results are showing up in the students grades and personal well-being - regardless of a formal community-wide grading system being put in place - because the students' grades directly reflect the answers to the questions above.

So today, I'm simply posing a question ....

What IF students gave teachers Report Cards? Would you have something to work with when sitting down with teachers or administrators, to come up with effective "solutions" together? The operative word here is: Solutions!
There are many PBS - Positive Behavioral Support - programs out there for schools to invest in and implement school-wide.
But I will tell you honestly, that while PBS works on a very good percentage of the students, the students that we are still not succeeding with are a result of educators not having the specific tools and skills to deal directly with the Attitudinal variable that keeps kids disconnected, disinterested, disruptive and angry.


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