Opinion: teacher evaluations should fall on students

The results are in, and the administration is finally willing to admit how good some of our teachers actually are.

Anyone who talked to a few certain teachers last year knows about the controversy over teacher evaluations in the 2013-2014 school year. The basic gist of it is that  0.6 percent rated as “unsatisfactory”4.5 percent rated as “needs improvement” and about 94 percent of the school’s teachers were rated proficient, with no “exemplary” teachers, according to the Gloucester Daily Times.

At the time, rumors swirled that the higher-ups in the school system had specifically mandated that no teachers were given a rating of “exemplary” so the school would get more money in aid from the state to “improve” our teachers.

Now that the program is in its second year, mysteriously that statistic has been flipped on its head, with 88 percent rated as “Proficient” and 9.1 percent  “Exemplary” it’s certainly more than none.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I think it’s pretty fishy that all of a sudden, our teachers are overall worse, but just some of them are better. After all, the backlash from the evaluations last year tore the faculty in two.  So who’s to say the system wasn’t messed with to make the select few happy?

Conveniently our school is still receiving money for renovations, such as those done to Newell stadium last year. Don’t get me wrong, having nicer facilities for the school is great and all, but is it really worth it to give our teachers a bad reputation?

I cannot speak for all the teachers in this building, but I can say from experience that I have been taught by some very exemplary teachers.

There are some who stay after every single day to help students. We have some teachers who will read college essays for seniors and help them proofread. We have some teachers who live in New Hampshire or Cape Cod and still manage to make it here before school to help out people that need it. There is no shortage of passion in our teachers, so why not just be honest about the whole thing and reflect that?

My point here is not to bash the administration, they do a fine job at whatever it is they do, given the circumstances. I merely want to show that a system such as a teacher evaluation can only go so far.

I ask you, reader, if you have any exemplary teachers, don’t rely on a system with so many kinks, and possibly even ulterior motives, to tell them how they’re doing. Just do it yourself. Telling a teacher they’re doing a great job, or even just paying attention in class, can mean the world for them, and we don’t need to let any outside agendas affect how the community judges our teachers, because as students, we mean the difference between a good teacher and a great one.