ratemyteacher.com provokes opinions at South

ratemyteacher.com+provokes+opinions+at+South

Rachel Mann, asst. features editor

Anonymity is a tool that people use to express to others how they truly feel, without worrying about being responsible for what they say.  Ratemyteachers.com is a website in which students use anonymity to rate and review their teachers. Ratings are based on easiness, clarity, helpfulness and overall popularity.

According to an Oracle-conducted survey of 236 students, 64 percent have been on the website. Students expressed that the main reason they use the website is to see what their teachers are like before the upcoming year.

“It is a relatively accurate way to see what people think about your teacher before the start of the year,” student Ryan Williams* said.

Seventy-seven percent of students agree with Williams, saying they find the website to be accurate, according to the same survey.

Willis Handover* argues this same point, believing that the website has merit because it is based on the opinions of the students themselves.

“I use ratemyteachers.com to check whether or not my teachers are mean, fun, nice, rude, etc.,” Handover said. “The people who really get to know what a teacher is like are their students because they spend 50 minutes with them every day.”

While some South students find this website to be accurate, 23 percent do not.

“[The website] is too biased to be accurate,” student Taylor Carrington* said.

Others don’t go on the website because they don’t see it as a good source for reviewing teachers.

“I don’t go on the website because I feel it can be very critical of teachers,” senior Jack Heneghan said.

Some students state that they use the website to make necessary schedule changes before the school year begins. According to Lara Cummings, assistant principal of guidance, these changes are not permitted.

“I think there’s more students talking to students [about teachers], but down here there is definitely no impact of the website to making schedule changes,” Cummings said.

Only changes that pertain to the class or its level can affect ones’ schedule, according to Cummings. She also noted that the ratings on ratemyteachers.com are not necessarily true for every student.

“I think if people choose to read it, they have to be careful and decide what they believe to be true and what they don’t,” Cummings said. “I truly believe every student is a different type of learner and one student who may not have liked a class [for a certain reason] could be [the] reason why a student would like that class.”

Some teachers say that ratemyteachers.com does not accurately reflect their style of teaching.

“I find ratemyteachers.com to be completely inaccurate and unreliable,” teacher Bill Meadow* said. “The mix of reviews for teachers clearly shows that you cannot judge the complexity of a teacher based on five or  six students’ posts.”

Other teachers agree and believe that ratemyteachers.com doesn’t have influence on their teaching.

“Because of the anonymity of the site, it allows people to be positive or negative without having to justify their opinion,” Spanish teacher Rachael Rothrauff said. “It should be fun, but shouldn’t really be taken seriously.”

Teacher Paul Samuels* expressed his opinion to remind students to use caution when rating or reviewing their teachers on the website.

“I think [ratemyteachers.com] is fine but should be done objectively and looked at by students in a discretionary way,” Samuels said.

*Names have been altered.