It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that the teenage students of today talk about their teachers. It’s natural for teenagers to be looking for role models, heroes and the occasional anti-hero. It’s part of growing up after all. They naturally evaluate all the adults they come in contact with as potential mentors. What you might not know is that they have also been rating their teachers online.
RateMyTeachers.com has been around for a little while. It’s a webpage where students all across the country have set-up accounts for their schools. Only a few elementary schools are listed but many middle and high schools are. They also have two interesting sister sites, one for rating summer camps and one for rating college professors. The site does claim that the student ratings are checked out before they are posted.
All these sites have pretty much the same format. Students log in, find their school, find the teacher they want to rate and then enter their evaluation comments. A 1-5 score for Easiness, Helpfulness and Clarity is used. Parents can also log in and submit comments and a 1-5 rating for Expectations, Difficulty and Respect. Teachers also have the option of registering with the site and responding directly to any comment.
Students seem to visit the site intermittently. For most of them, taking time out of their "busy schedules" to rate teachers isn’t that high on their priority list.
Don’t like your rating? Why not change it by logging into their system as a student and rating yourself. Or you can register with the site officially and defend yourself, or publicly thank students and/or parents who gave you positive reviews.
In many ways being an educator is a very public profession. It's a brave new world out there. Students don't have to wait for lunch or after school to talk about their teachers. The internet has given students and parents an open forum where they can easily communicate their opinions to the entire world if they want to. You should at least be aware of this development.