Courtney Langton

Courtney is an aspiring high school teacher. Her teachables are History and English, but she's happy to teach anything that doesn't involve numbers or formulas. Her particular interest is in promoting gender equity and anti-oppression both in and outside the classroom. She writes a detailed To-Do list every morning, and enjoys nothing more than a good book and a plate of bacon on a rainy Saturday.

Jonathan Wong

Jonathan's primary interest is moral education. His teachable subjects are English and Music. He encourages critical thinking and hopes to teach his students to recognize, and strive for, what is truly important to them without forgetting to be compassionate, tolerant, and open-minded along the way. He likes making analogies and his favourite is one that compares life to jumping on a trampoline.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

I took some time this afternoon to browse around the site,, more out of curiosity than anything else. I imagine that some of us might eventually find our way onto that website sooner or later so I thought I'd check it out and see if there was any real validity to the site.

As a teacher-in-training, I figured that I would have a rather insurmountable bias by looking up teachers working at King City Secondary school; ergo, I decided to do a quick survey of the teachers I had when I was in high school and see what some of the results were. Now, before you read this, keep in mind that I can be incredibly elitist about my opinions when it comes to comparing myself to the "general public". It's not so much that I think that the general public is always wrong so much as it is that when pitted against an individual, anonymous, opinion that contradicts my own I have a tendency to assume that this individual doesn't know what he/she is talking about. In my defense, however, I do think that the "general public" as whole unit usually winds up with the correct overall opinion unless there are mitigating circumstances.

One of these mitigating circumstances, where is concerned, is that the ratings are divided into 3 categories (which are then averaged out to an overall rating per teacher). One of these 3 categories is "Average Easiness" which I assume relates to whether or not the teacher is a "hard marker". The problem with this category is that it really should be called "Fairness" rather than "Average Easiness." Why? Because "Average Easiness" tends to devolve into "Will this teacher let me get away with not answering the question and bullshitting the answer," which doesn't exactly seem to be the right question; or at least, it doesn't seem to work on the correct scale.

This is what I noticed about many of the ratings for my old high school teachers - that their overall rating was pulled down because the rating in the category of "Average Easiness" was pulled down... and I'm sure (having been a student in these teachers' classes) that THIS happened because these were teachers that wouldn't let you get away with not knowing your stuff or BS-ing your answers. There's no reason they should be penalized for this as teachers but many students seem to live in this egocentric world of self-importance and self-privilege where a teacher that gives them bad marks is a bad teacher, even if these marks are entirely justified.

I looked at some of the comments for some of the teachers who got really high ratings in "Average Easiness" and came across many that said something like "Such an e-z marker! I was such a shitty student and still got an A- lolololololol!!!"

Yeah ok... cause that's the best indicator of a good teacher...

Jonathan posted at 8:37 PM - Comments (0)


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