Ratemyteacher.com is a website that allows students to anonymously post comments and rate their teachers. Leesville Road High School has 132 teachers listed on the website, with 858 ratings total.
Students evaluate their teachers on a scale of one (Bad) to five (Great) in easiness, helpfulness, clarity and popularity, and these numbers are averaged to provide an overall score for each teacher listed. As one would expect, the most well-known teachers have the largest numbers of ratings and comments, whether notoriously good or bad.
The Web site was created in order to give students an idea of what to expect from their teachers. A student who checks his teacher on ratemyteacher.com and sees that the teacher has a high score and glowing comments will become excited to be a member of his new class. However, a rating of a one or two with comments detailing how many times a teacher made her class cry can make the student want to run in the opposite direction.
One student commented about a Leesville teacher saying, “I was so glad to finally get a s.s. [social studies] teacher who didn’t read the bold words from the book and call it teaching. He really knows his stuff and has a good sense of humor.” Comments such as this one provide a clear view of what new students are getting themselves into. Someone who looked this teacher up on ratemyteacher.com would know that their new teacher is smart, interesting and makes his lessons funny.
This comment exemplifies what the Web site is supposed to be about – giving pertinent information about teachers to aid future students in how to approach the class.
The Web site has turned into more of a kvetching board, however. Students take out their frustration with teachers in anonymous comments that can be downright mean. A student posted about another teacher at Leesville, “This lady smells like the Great Depression. You could learn more English watching Spanish soap operas. Old, Bitter, and most of all stupid.”
Obviously the above student had a personal issue with this teacher that he or she decided to take out in a public forum. But harsh comments like these can hurt a teacher’s reputation, and potentially his or her feelings, while creating a bias in students who have never gotten a chance to experience the teacher for themselves.
Ratemyteacher.com also takes away the chance for teachers and students to start the year with a clean slate. Instead of approaching new teachers with an open mind, the comments that students read on the website can impact their impression of the teacher for an entire year.
Despite providing a somewhat broad view of what teachers are like, the comments written on ratemyteacher.com need to be taken with a grain of salt.