Website winds up teachers' union

As spotted by the ever observant Irish Eagle, and to follow up our own mention of the site in question, Ratemyteacher is causing a bit of a stir.. It seems that teaching unions are seeking legal advice about the site – “Jim Dorney, General Secretary of the TUI said the site was ‘worthless’, since anybody can log on anonymously and say whatever they like…”.. *ahem*.. while Oisin O’Reilly, vice-president of the Union of Secondary Students, sets out the case for the defence. Interestingly, perhaps, the site appears to be most popular with students in Ireland, where 7 schools have blocked access to the site.

  • Bernard Goldbach

    I think teachers should keep their powder dry on this one. Anything that encourages students to write should be viewed positively. But I know my perspective isn’t universal because I also see social value in graffiti.

    The RMT Forum offers some excellent tactics from teachers who comment back to the group on the remarks they’ve earned from students. The teachers in the forum are showing that the most withering influence can be confrontation upfront and online.

  • Richard Delevan

    They should keep their powder dry, Bernie. They won’t. If I heard them whinge on from their conference on Marian freakin’ Finucane this morning any more I was going to throw the damned shower radio into the toilet.

    Apparently, RTE’s Big Bite (2.25 PM today, 8am? replay tmw) will do a segment on ‘bad teachers’ as a welcome antidote and will discuss the Ratemyteachers.ie yoke.

  • slackjaw

    The site is worse than useless. That some schools are deciding to ban it is proper order IMO. Schools are not market democracies.

    There is nothing wrong with students being able to comment, anonymously if necessary, on the performance of their teachers, but it has to be done within a proper review process. That would be valuable for pupils and staff – as it would help principals and senior management to manage their staff properly, and would help teachers to get ideas on how they can improve.

    But it has to be done in-house. All teachers teach subject to constraints of the curriculum, timetabling, senior management, class behaviour, parental support, class ability range to name a few. It is deeply unjust to make public ratings of individual teachers where none of these constraints are taken into account. It places an undue and unnecessary stress on the individual teacher, who has a responsibility to do the best for all his/her pupils. In the end, it is the teacher’s students who suffer the consequences.

    And, Pink Floyd fans, if students are really the best judges of teacher performance, wtf do they need to go to school in the first place?

    For some balance, perhaps the best course of action would be for teachers to submit anonymous feedback to ratemyformerstudents.com, or ratemystudentsparents.com.

  • factfinder

    No doubt any banned sites will be flooded with online students. It’s like asking the Pope what he thinks of the latest porn mag or sexually explicit song,as soon as he condemns it,it will get enormous sales .