Review teachers on a regular basis

Maren Jones

Bellarmine students are surrounded by staff and faculty who truly care for their well-being. But it is not to say that teachers are free from need of improvement. So what if students were given the opportunity to review their teachers? Whether it is taking a new approach to teaching or simply asking for more understanding, students’ education might greatly benefit, and isn’t that what Bellarmine strives for, improving students’ education in any way possible?

To function at Bellarmine, reviewing teachers could be done anonymously, similar to the Google Forms teachers are sending out for asynchronous feedback. Monthly or quarterly, students could be required to give an evaluation on their teachers. It could be as quick as a Google Forms survey asking questions like what could the teacher do to improve to help students, what the teacher did right, how the teacher handled misunderstandings, and more. Questions would be focused on the teacher and class environment rather than the class and its content. By creating a safe space for students to voice their issues with classes, Bellarmine’s learning environment could improve for everyone. Bellarmine could also protect teachers by having reviews only be viewed by teachers and administrators, in order to keep reviews from being a place to slander teachers. Whether students have specific suggestions for teachers, or just wish for a bit of an improvement, reviews would improve student life. When asked how reviewing teachers may help students, junior Mateo Arturo said, “It would be helpful for the teachers to listen to the feedback and implement the change being asked for.”

While the idea of scoring teachers is not meant to put staff members out of a job or change salaries, it would definitely impact them. Math teacher Heidi Pettit said, “If the focus of the review is constructive ways to make class better by specifically highlighting things that are going well and offering suggestions for change for things about a class that are not serving students as well as they could be, then that could be a good way for students to honestly give feedback to their teachers,” after being asked how she feels about the proposal of grading teachers and how she thinks they would be affected.

Although Bellarmine may never implement monthly reviewing of teachers, they have set the bar high for teachers and staff members of all departments. In the past four years, the Elizabeth Kelley Exemplary Teacher of the Year award was given to teachers in three different departments, showing the high standards that all the teachers live up to.