Evaluations are more important than you think

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Rachael Smith

Email:rsmith585@radford.edu

As the school year comes to an end, I would imagine most students are ready to be done with school so they can start summer break activities. But before the semester wraps up students must fill out teacher evaluations. I have no problem filling out these forms but you might be surprised to find out many students think it’s a waste of time and a hassle. Junior Page Knutsen is one of those students.
“I think they’re pointless ‘cause no one takes them seriously,” Knutsen said.

We as students may not know it, but our subconscious could be doing the ratings for us. Research shows that ratings can waive tremendously between men and women.

Students will sometimes give the better rating to their sociable female teacher rather than the unsociable one. With men, students have shown to not even factor that in; they focus more on the difficulty of grading for their male teachers. A lot of us will just fill out the boxes as if it’s a race, even though a lot of teachers do these evaluations at the beginning of class, so there really is no rush. Billy Ferguson, a junior, says he fills out the written part seriously; however, he takes a different approach to the boxes.

“I don’t take the [boxes] seriously though because I can emphasize on certain teaching methods and on the class itself,” Ferguson said.
I think it is extremely important to take our time filling these out, especially since one way or another, we are paying to be here. If you have a problem with a teacher, state it, but it doesn’t help their teaching methods to hear “I hated this teacher, he wore weird clothes and I hope he dies so no one else has to put up with him.”

That’s unfair. The faculty and committee who works at evaluations take these seriously even if you don’t. Even if our professors suck as professors, they still worked their butt off in college and graduate school to be here today, educating us.
When teachers read these, they look for ways to improve their methods; hearing students rant about how mean they were and how they didn’t understand their homework so they didn’t turn it in doesn’t help them improve as teachers.

I know it must seem like I am a ‘teacher-lovin’-bash all-the-students’ kind of girl, but I know not all professors are perfect. If there is a situation that you believe is necessary to include in an evaluation, do not hesitate to write in the comments box. While they might not see it until your class is over, you will have at least said something.

When it comes to more serious matters that do not relate to just the course, such as professors treating students rudely, you should report this to someone. The teacher evaluations are something important that we as students should value. No matter what the case is with your teacher, take the time to think about your evaluations in the last weeks of school.