Evaluating Teachers and Professors

Just because a teacher has a teaching job does not mean that they are sufficient in teaching the subjects presented. Just because a professor has the adequate knowledge to teach a subject does not mean that he understands both teaching and learning styles. The best way that a student can evaluate a teacher or professor is to look at them objectively. What are their student’s passing and failing percentages? Do they implement discipline into their lessons? Do students respect them enough to listen?

A professor chats with students at UC Davis College of Engineering. (photo by UC Davis College of Engineering)

Tip One: Always Ask for Percentage Rates

If you have an Advanced Placement class while in high school, it is easy to find out just how equipped students are after taking that course with that teacher, unless it is their first year teaching that class. Simply ask them. They will be truthful because they will try to beat their previous’ years exams through the current students. If their students have a reasonable percentage rate of passing, esp. 40% or higher, something is being done right: whether the course is extremely easy, students are geniuses, or the most probable reasoning: the teacher is really trying to help the students.

Tip Two: Listen to What Others Have to Say

There are several websites out there that compare professors and teachers alike. These websites, as listed below, offer student perspective. Some offer no reasoning, which leads to no conclusions. Others are written by students who really care and seek to enlighten you on the subject of their experiences with that teacher or professor. You may remember a similar post (here) that offers other teacher/professor rating websites. If anything, you can read these for humor.

  • ¬†For high school students, there is ratemyteachers.com. Heed my warning, there may not be much help here; these are often the humorous ratings. However, with looking at my high school, I saw that some students chose to give insight and reasoning as to why they chose the ratings that they did. You will never know what is depicted until you look for yourself.
  • For college students, there is ratemyprofessors.com. Students are more likely to utilize this website in reviewing their professors. They offer to rate professors from four-year universities as well as community colleges and everywhere in between. Thinking logically, nobody would want to take a class and spend their own money to have a horrid teacher who doesn’t help you nor cares. This is not to say that this website is all work and no play though; they offer a subsection of ratings where you can rate if a teacher is “hot” or not, with a picture of a chili pepper in the description.
  • If those don’t necessarily help you, there are others that may! Myedu.com also offers a section of their website to rating college professors. They also offer helpful tools such as GPA calculators, and a timeline so you may track your progress in acquiring a degree.

However, not everyone’s experiences with teachers or professors are the same. As much as some teachers try to conceal favorites, or society wishes to believe that teachers do not pick favorites, it is a lie that they do not. There are always students, eager to post their great experiences with teachers, as well as students who would like to slander their teachers for the outlet of hurt that they feel because they are disliked on a personal level.

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